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Building Nature's MarketThe Business and Politics of Natural Foods$
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Laura J. Miller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226501239

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226501406.001.0001

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Drawing the Line

Drawing the Line

Boundary Disputes in the Natural Foods Field

(p.171) Chapter Seven Drawing the Line
Building Nature's Market

Laura J. Miller

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines a number of internal divisions that emerged within the natural foods movement as the potential market for natural foods grew. Many of these divisions, triggered by the entry of newcomers, coalesce around disputes over the boundaries of the natural foods field. Three issues that exemplify these tensions are discussed. The first, exemplifying ambiguity about the line dividing the natural from the non-natural, concerns the status of vitamins and other supplements. The second, which highlights uncertainty about the boundary between movement insiders and outsiders, concerns the entry of major corporations into the field. The third, exemplifying conflict over who has authority to resolve boundary disputes, involves certification, the process whereby items are given a stamp of approval guaranteeing that they have met specific standards, such as those related to organics. Each of these issues illustrates how growth opens movements up to varying levels of commitment and interpretations of a movement's purpose, which can endanger the integrity of movement ideals.

Keywords:   boundaries, certification, corporations, growth, organic, standards, supplements, vitamins

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