Giving a Fork about the Environment: Discursive Articulations of Food, Climate Change, and Environmental Sustainability in Canada's Food Guide

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Hum, Anna




This research explores how the Canadian federal government incorporates climate change and environmental sustainability concerns in the 2019 iteration of Canada's Food Guide and its supporting documents. Using a mixed analytical approach to discourse analysis, I analyze 52 government documents to discover how food, climate change, and environmental sustainability are discursively linked. My findings reveal that these considerations are wed together through dominant storylines that operate as channels to enact change; positioning citizens to adjust their behaviours to be more environmentally benign as a 'solution'. I argue that the guide's 'solutionist' approach to communication constructs a 'good' Canadian consumer and neglects larger questions over creating enabling environments. In doing so, I contend that the 'solutionist' approach acts as a cornerstone for transforming food guides to address climate change and sustainability at the individual level but does not sufficiently address the need for systemic change.


Mass Communications




Carleton University

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