Following the food: the case of Grana Padano

Marco Tononi, Sara Bonati, Antonella Pietta


The geography of food has recently produced a lot of analysis and theories. The paper covers the recent history of this rich line of research and looks at certain important aspects to produce an analysis which considers the whole food system. The central aim is of connecting consumption (and the new role of culture) with production, its socio-ecological evolution and the environmental impact on the entire food process. The methodology used to link the different phases is “following-food” (Cook et al., 2006). This approach consists in following a certain food through its transformations. This is useful to connect not only consumption and production, but also different dimensions: culture, economy, society, ecology, health. In particular, the paper analyses the links between the foodscape of milk production, focusing especially on Grana Padano PDO cheese in the Lombardy Region. The research has been used in an educational laboratory with a primary school, in which the researchers helped students to discover the local foodscapes of production and consumption.


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