Globalizing Organic

Nationalism, Neoliberalism, and Alternative Food in Israel

By Rafi Grosglik

Subjects: Sociology, Israel Studies, Food, Agricultural Economics
Paperback : 9781438481562, 258 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438481555, 258 pages, February 2021

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Organic Hummus

1. "If Organic Agriculture Is Here—Homeland Is Here"

2. Organic Food Across Borders

3. Organic Start-Ups

4. Organic in the City, Organic in the Kibbutz

5. Translating Organic

Conclusion: Glocal Organic


Traces how alternative food movements are affected by global and local trends, with a focus on how organic agriculture was integrated in Israel.


Globalizing Organic focuses on the globalization of a culture of "eating for change" and the ways in which local meanings attached to the production of foods embed ecological and social values. Rafi Grosglik examines how organic agriculture was integrated in Israel—a state in which agriculture was a key mechanism in promoting Jewish nationalism and in time has become highly mechanized and technologically sophisticated. He explores how organic food, which signifies environmental protection and social equity, has been realized in a country where environmental issues are perceived as less pressing compared to inner political conflicts, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and recurrent wars. Based on more than a decade of ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and analysis of historical documents and media, Grosglik traces how alternative food movements are affected by global and local trends. He covers a wide range of topics, including the ethos of halutzim ("pioneers," Zionist ideological farmers and workers), the utopian visions of the Israeli kibbutz, indigeneity that is claimed both by Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, biblical meanings that have been ascribed to environmental and countercultural ideas, the Americanization of Israeli society, and its neoliberalized economy.

Rafi Grosglik is a Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Beit Berl College and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of California, Davis.


"This is a good book … it is very informative and thought provoking; it serves as a useful counterbalance to a literature that often assumes more global homogeneity among the practitioners and field participants than is perhaps justified." — Social Forces