New Open Access Book: Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City

Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City

Robert Biel
Download free: https://goo.gl/oEC8NS

Faced with a global threat to food security, it is perfectly possible that society will respond, not by a dystopian disintegration, but rather by reasserting co-operative traditions. This book, by a leading expert in urban agriculture, offers a genuine solution to today’s global food crisis. By contributing more to feeding themselves, cities can allow breathing space for the rural sector to convert to more organic sustainable approaches. Continue reading

CfP ‘Denial, deception and disruption: addressing the challenges and potential solutions to fix a broken food system?’ Conference of Irish Geographers

Organised by: Tara Kenny & Colin Sage, University College Cork
Contact email: s.vanlanen[at]umail.ucc.ie    

 This is a moment of uncertainty for Irish agriculture as it faces the challenge of Brexit and a rising chorus of questions about the environmental impact of the national agri-food strategy.  Despite its status as a saviour of the post-crash economy, the emphasis on beef and dairy – despite the efforts of Bord Bia and the veneer of Origin Green – are resulting in the Irish farming sector coming under increasing scrutiny. Meanwhile, diet is now the number one risk factor in Ireland’s total burden of disease with 60% of the adult population overweight. Moreover, one in eight households are regarded as food poor, as measured by an ability to purchase a healthy weekly food basket. And despite the fanfare of rising export earnings we import more food in calorific terms than we sell. Elements of a broken food system? Fortunately, we are becoming well practiced in the art of denial and deception. This is best illustrated by the campaign to address food waste where an unlikely alliance of corporate retailers, charities, and app-ready tech entrepreneurs are busy diverting unwanted surpluses from an overstocked food supply chain to those trapped in austerity-induced food poverty: a ‘win-win’ solution. Continue reading

CfP Food Localisation as Community-Building RGS-IBG AC2017

Food localisation has been widely promoted and analysed as bringing producers closer to consumers (Ilbery et al., 2005; Renting et al., 2003). This proximity takes many forms, which can be extended spatially through short food-supply chains; examples include producers as consumers, box schemes, farmers’ markets, farmers’ collective marketing, community gardens, etc. Beyond food per se, the process potentially links various societal problems and their solutions: ‘Through building a community a shared vision is created, leaders emerge, and complex problems like social exclusion, poverty, hunger, and malnutrition seem to connect in new ways and new people come together to think and act on solutions’ (Anderson, 2014).

To be considered for the session, please submit a title, author details, and an abstract of up to 250 words to L.Levidow[at]open.ac.uk by Monday 13th February 2017.

Extended deadline! CfP “Rethinking justice in city regional food systems planning”

RGS-IBG 2017 – Call for Papers 
29th August – 1st September 2017 in London 
Rethinking justice in city regional food systems planning 
Sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group, and the Geographies of Justice Research Group
Convenor: Richard J Nunes (University of Reading)

Please submit title, name and affiliation, and an abstract of no more than 250 words by 27th February 2017 – r.j.nunes[at]reading.ac.uk

What does it mean to do planning when we think about the creation of sustainable healthy city-regional food systems? In this session, we aim to explore this question from the perspective of urban food enterprise (UFE) and regional planning. UFEs are socially innovative business practices that seek alternative, local responses to conventional food systems, from inputs through to resource recovery and waste management. Yet the pluralism of UFE practices as an alternative to conventional food practices are far from coherent, making it conceptually difficult to align these organizations with a priori ideas of ‘justice’.

This challenge is compounded by the temptation to point to complex interconnections between food systems and other urban systems such (food) waste to energy at the city-regional level. Often the temptation is to identify the city-region or metropolitan area as a uniformly defined or coherent scale of governance, coupled with rational comprehensive visions of city-regional food systems as potential vehicles for food and health justice. However, such visions are riddled by pre-existing issues of social and environmental justice concerns that surround the uneven distribution of ecological assets (and their social returns), and the disproportionate environmental burdens among the economically disadvantaged in cities.

Please submit title, name and affiliation, and an abstract of no more than 250 words by 27th February 2017 – r.j.nunes[at]reading.ac.uk