What is there to aim for as we begin the journey towards better,happier, food?
One measure is the Sustainable Food City Award, which recognises the work of an area and through its standards helps assess how far along its journey they are.
Why do we need a Sustainable Food System?
We live in a time where being able to exchange money for what we want is seen as the only functioning mechanism. However, the world is becoming increasingly complex and as we become more aware, of what we need to flourish, this system becomes inadequate. Food is one such anomaly.
The world of food is such that the plants growing in our hedgerows have greater nutritional value than what we can expect to buy in the supermarket. Furthermore, the nutritional value of our food decreases the moment it is harvested and continues to devalue as we transport, process and cook it.
Additionally, the current cash-for-crop model creates massive inequalities as the developed world harvests the resources of poorer countries for its own gain. An example of this is the import of lettuce from India, which destabilises the water table in the areas it’s grown as water is embodied in the plant and exported alongside the lettuce. Another effect, when money is the primary factor in a foods accessibility, is the traditional users of crops become unable to afford them as they become a food trend in the developed markets, this is currently happening with Quinoa in South America.
What is a Sustainable Food System?
Initially, the steps needed to begin to rebalance our food system are simple, we must start looking at the total value of food, not just the price tag. For example, food that is produced in an environmentally friendly way offers huge local value; as it does not pollute the environment, it offers local employment, it supports the local economy and it is not required to be transported large distances. A great example of this is the Organically-grown Hodmedod’s Wholegrain Quinoa, that allows us to buy locally and not have to import the grain from a country where their population are struggling to afford a crop that has been a staple ingredient of their diets for centuries.
As the system develops it allows for the democratising of our food as we can take control of what food is grown locally and what food industries we support. The influence of food is significant to our communities and we can develop structures for the benefit of all of the people within it. For example, the power of food for our health, the impact of food on our schools, the benefit of sustainable farming to our wildlife and countryside and the positive development of our local economy and town centres with vibrant local food companies
How do we get started?
The best first step is to come along to the Happy Drinks at Oakes Barn on 16th February 2017 at 19:30. We will be in the upstairs room, where like-minded people will be getting to know each and laying the foundations for exciting new ideas and projects. All Welcome, tell your friends.