Organic intimacy: emotional practices at an organic store

Jón Þór Pétursson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The article tells the story of the rise and fall of the organic store Yggdrasill in Iceland. That story features humble founders, caring customers, dedicated staff, as well as anonymous investment funds, and it describes the conversion of organics from a niche market to mainstream consumption. Through an ethnographic account of everyday life at the organic store, the article analyzes how intimacy within the modern food chain is established through emotional practices. Staff and customers share feelings of reciprocity, not only towards organic producers, but also towards each other through acts of selling and buying organic products, forming intimate attachment and creating trust to counter the fears and anonymity of the modern food chain. Drawing on theories of affect and emotional practices and combining ethnography with narrative analysis, the article explores the role of emotions and how the doing of emotions makes organic food consumption meaningful within the industrial food system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-594
Number of pages14
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, Håkan Jönsson and Bernhard Tschofen for their generous support during the writing of this article. Thanks also to Katarzyna Herd, Meghan Cridland and Michael Humbracht for helpful comments and other assistance. Finally, I thank the editor of Agriculture and Human Values and the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable remarks.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).

Other keywords

  • Affects
  • Consumption
  • Emotional labor
  • Emotions
  • Ethnography
  • Intimacy
  • Narrative
  • Organic food
  • Retail
  • Rhythm


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