Book Launch & Discussion Packaged Food, Packaged Life: Corporate Food in Metro Manila Slums | Center for Southeast Asian Studies Kyoto University


Book Launch & Discussion
Packaged Food, Packaged Life: Corporate Food in Metro Manila Slums

CSEAS invites Heriberto Ruiz Tafoya to speak about his recent publication Packaged Food, Packaged Life: Corporate Food in Metro Manila Slums (Kyoto CSEAS Series on Philippine Studies, Ateneo de Manila University Press and Kyoto University Press, 2023). Walden Bello will join us online as a discussant.

* Changed from November 16, 2023
** For online participation please register in advance. The event organizer will provide online participants with the Zoom URL after registration.

Why are there dozens of food brands—in sachets, bottles, cans, and other packaging—sold in every sari sari store in the slums of Metro Manila and beyond? Packaged Food, Packaged Life argues that the abundant consumption of corporate brands in slums does not merely stem from individual lifestyle choices but also is the result of historical circumstances that preclude good living conditions and limit opportunities for people who resort to corporate packaged food. Drawing on his own fieldwork and exhaustive review of related literature, Heriberto Ruiz Tafoya identifies the constraints that characterize a packaged life not as a definitive status but as an ongoing process. His perspective comes from his own experiences as urban poor in Mexico and from the eclectic amalgamation of the Latin American ethical and political approach of buen vivir (living well or life in fullness) and its Philippine counterpart ginhawa (vital spirit that animates our well-being).
        The book is a pioneering work on packaged-food diets in the global south, serving as a reliable reference for readers interested in the retail and consumption of processed food especially by marginalized communities.

Speaker: Heriberto Ruiz Tafoya
Born in Mexico City, Heriberto Ruiz Tafoya received his Doctoral degree in Economics from Kyoto University. He is a research fellow at the Institute of Social Theory and Dynamics in Hiroshima, a research affiliate of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, and an adjunct professor at Doshisha Business School in Kyoto.

Discussant: Walden Bello
Walden Bello is an International Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He served in the Philippine House of Representatives from 2009 to 2015 and ran for vice president in the Philippine elections of 2022. An academic with a global reputation, Bello obtained his doctorate in sociology from Princeton University in the United States in 1975 and his Bachelor of Arts from Ateneo de Manila University in 1966. He is the author or co-author of 25 books on topics ranging from the political economy of the Philippines to the rise of the Right globally to the brewing conflict between China and the United States. He received the Right Livelihood Award (aka the Alternative Nobel Prize) in 2003 for his work in exposing the negative side of corporate-driven globalization and was named Outstanding Public Scholar by the International Studies Association in 2008. He was a senior research fellow with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) of Kyoto University in 2023. 

Moderator: Mario Ivan Lopez

Organizers: Event Committee, Publication Committee, and Public Relations Committee