Depiction of Wild Food Foraging Practices in the Media: Impact of the Great Recession
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Society & Natural Resources
The practice of gathering and harvesting wild foods has seen renewed interest in recent decades. In addition to contributing to food security and food sovereignty, foraging plays a role in promoting socioecological resilience and creating communities of belonging. However, foraging is generally prohibited by regulations governing public lands in the United States and elsewhere. The growth in food forests suggests public policymakers and land managers' may be interested in reconsidering this broad prohibition of foraging but require an information base to do so. While a body of research on foraging exists, news media coverage of foraging represents an additional, readily available source of input. As a consequence, framings of foraging in media coverage likely influence managers' deliberations on this practice. The current paper uses automated content analysis to understand how the practice of gathering and consuming wild foods is framed in print and digital news media, and how these depictions have varied in a 15-year period that includes the Great Recession. Our results show that prevalent framings of foraging represent it variously as a self-provisioning practice or a source of luxury commodities and experiences, with economic uncertainty appearing to affect the frequency of each framing by news media sources. Given managers' ease of access to them, these distinct framings may influence future regulatory landscapes of foraging.
Sachdeva, Sonya; Emery, Marla R.; Hurley, Patrick T. 2018. Depiction of Wild Food Foraging Practices in the Media: Impact of the Great Recession. Society & Natural Resources. 31(8): 977-993. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2018.1450914.