Are vegetables political? The traces of the Copenhagen Food Coop

Jens Hoff, Mine Islar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterpeer-review


The Copenhagen Food Coop (CFC) is an alternative food community in Copenhagen that provides locally grown organic vegetables and fruits to its members. It also disseminates knowledge on organic and sustainable food production, distribution, and consumption and aims to develop a participatory and inclusive community organisation. Some scholars see such alternative food networks as having great potential for creating environmentally and economically sustainable societies, while others see them as a way of ‘de-politicising’ the local. We intervene in this debate, using in particular Bang’s distinction between mode 1 (traditional) and mode 2 politics (network politics) and an actor-network methodology. We find that rather than being ‘apolitical’, CFC is ‘double political’ in the sense that members are involved in mode 1 as well as mode 2 politics. So, vegetables are indeed political. However, they need not be. For some stakeholders the story of the CFC is synonymous with community or health, which implies that the organisation is non-political. However, we have chosen to tell the story of CFC as a political topos, a story that allows us to demonstrate not only the political, but also some of the organisation’s economic, cultural, and discursive traces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Role of Non-state Actors in the Green Transition
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding a sustainable future
EditorsJens Hoff, Quentin Gausset, Simon Lex
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-28039-9
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-23559-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science
  • Environmental Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Are vegetables political? The traces of the Copenhagen Food Coop'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this