Promoting Land-Based Food Practices in the not so Rural Idyll of Northern Lebanon: Dietary Solutions from Urban Perspectives

Michael Robidoux, Carla Haibi


This article is the result of two months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in rural Lebanon, studying local food harvesting, preparation and consumption practices. The study revealed the complexities of maintaining land-based lifestyles in contemporary Lebanon. It also exposed the paradoxical constructions of rural existence. In this paper, we deconstruct the mythical constructions of the rural idyll in the Lebanese village of Arsal and describe the multiple facets of local food production. If proponents of local food production are advocating for the preservation of local practices, it is critical to understand what is taking place in the communities and the environmental and economic factors they face engaging in the new global economy.

Keywords: rural, rural idyll, Lebanon, land-based food practices, agriculture, health

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.