Call for abstracts for a book chapter: ‘Food for Degrowth: Principles, Case Studies and Challenges’

How can we produce, consume and preserve food for degrowth in urban settings? To what extent is urban food sufficiency and resilience possible? How can we redesign food provisioning in cities and towns to overcome current limitations?

Understanding ‘food for degrowth’ as sets of practices along the food chain, this book will explore actual and possible degrowth projects in cities and towns that reduce energy and material consumption while re-valuing the social and environmental values and practices that make us human and sustain us. Following the publication of Housing for Degrowth, the planned Food for Degrowth book seeks to examine how food is experienced in and across the city, joining with other urban elements such as water, energy, waste, built form, mobility and planning. We propose a scholarly-activist book on food for degrowth exploring many environmental, social, political and economic issues. Contributions will interrogate existing models and potential alternatives. We plan to include diverse examples from villages and cities around the world that showcase exemplary food for degrowth practices, identify lessons from key experiments, and analyse and reflect on how we can vastly improve how urban food systems can be experienced and performed.

As co-editors, we welcome abstracts that show chapters exploring:

  • how food practices can be simplified, e.g. substituting energy-intensive take-away meals to low impact local and homegrown alternatives
  • how those in precarious situations can eat well by applying degrowth principles
  • how to overcome limitations for achieving sustainable urban food practices
  • how concepts such as permaculture’s home as ‘Zone 0’ can enhance degrowth
  • Collective and convivial degrowth food activities
  • traditional and modern approaches from the Global South and North
  • more ideas from you!

Along the food chain, topics may include:

  • production of specific foods, such as bees, chickens, fruit trees, fish, and insects
  • processing opportunities, such as cheese making, preservation and fermentation
  • factors for growing, hunting and gleaning food, such as soil, water and forests
  • aspects of consumption, such as ethical eating
  • storage, waste and redistribution, such as re-using surplus food and compost.

Would you like to contribute a chapter?

From this initial call for contributions we will select proposals based on the relevance, strength and depth of the topic or theme and overall fit to the book project more broadly. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss how your abstract would best suit this publication. We expect to decide on successful contributors by February with first drafts of 4000–5000 words due in at the end of May. Meanwhile, we co-editors will submit a proposal to a reputable publisher such as Routledge (Environmental Humanities series). A peer-review process will inform second draft revisions during 2019, with final drafts due in September. We are looking for contributions from social science researchers in any relevant disciplines and fields such as: environmental humanities, sociology, anthropology, geography, environmental studies, design, political ecology, permaculture and political economy.

We encourage you to engage by email with book editors with any questions regarding the formation of your abstract.

Abstract deadline: 15 December 2018


  • Ferne Edwards, Research Fellow, RMIT Europe, Barcelona:
  • Anitra Nelson, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne:

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