“Traditional”

People use the word “traditional” to name what they are used to. This word allows us to avoid thinking about how, when and why our patterns of work, trade and family life came to be. When we think of something as “traditional,” we make it seem natural or divine rather than historical. But everything has origins and causes. In this chapter, I use quotation marks around the word “tradition” because I want to encourage the reader never to use the word again as if she knows what it means.

– Harriet Friedmann, ‘Remaking “traditions”: how we eat, what we eat and the changing political economy of food’.

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