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Interface, a journal about social movements, has published a new review of Ingeborg Gaarde's book Peasants negotiating a global policy space: La Vía Campesina in the Committee on World Food Security (Routledge 2017). ...

Most of you who follow this blog will know that the 44th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is on this week. I am taking a break from the...

[caption id="attachment_3463" align="aligncenter" width="441"] Wen Wu sharing her passion for fundamental science.  (photo: https://www.facebook.com/WUR/_)[/caption] On September 4th I took the stage with two younger scientists to reflect on the theme of the...

bok cover Voltaire once said that “no problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”. In this book, we put that statement to the test. The problems plaguing food systems are well researched and well known. But how can we support transformation towards sustainable and just food systems? One thing is clear,  the objective of future food systems can no longer be to simply maximise productivity     We are very pleased to announce that our new book, Sustainable Food Futures: Multidisciplinary Solutionshas just been published. The book includes proposals for solutions to move us toward more sustainable food futures.  The solutions, which are based on concrete cases, are organised around 4 themes:
  1. Recognizing place
  2. Enhancing participation
  3. Challenging markets
  4. Designing sustainable food futures
  The solutions proposed in this book can be read as an atlas of possibilities. There are multiple roads we can, and must, travel to bring us towards our destination: just and sustainable food futures. And yet, instead of moving towards a brighter future, we continue with a status quo that is not good enough. To reach sustainable food futures, we require diligent and creative route planning. Not every route will work for everyone, or every context. Some routes will require us to go off road, while others take us along the toll roads. Others set about redefining what we know to be a road, and some may lead us directly to road blocks. It is our hope that the majority will lead us to new social-technical or social-economic arrangements that promote just, sustainable, and fair food futures. The book is available as a hardback, paperback and eBook.  We would really appreciate it if you could ask your local libraries to purchase a copy!  PS- it includes recipes!

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This was originally posted on ILEIA's website. It was written by  Stephen SherwoodMyriam Paredes and Alberto Arce who have edited a new book ‘Agriculture, Food, and Social Change: The Everyday Vitality of Latin America’ (UK: Routledge/Earthscan Press). I have co-authored a chapter in this book that I will summarise in a later post.
A great deal of energy has been invested in attempts to influence the thinking in science and government on the problems of industrial food and the benefits of agroecology and food sovereignty. Meanwhile, people everywhere take responsibility for creating the changes they want to see through daily food practices in their families, neighbourhoods and social networks. In addition to organising for ‘resistance’, we call for greater attention to the latent potential in daily living and being, or existence.
A popular ‘trueque’ or barter trade event in northern Ecuador, where people exchange their goods without the use of money. Photo: Colectivo Agroecólogio
We all have a serious problem when people’s most basic activity – eating – undermines their ability to exist. Yet this is precisely what we have achieved with the advent of modern food. Through the pursuit of cheap food as a ‘good’, we have generated a series of unwanted ‘bads’, such as mass destruction of soils and water systems, erosion of agrobiodiversity, and widescale sickness and death by pesticides, not to mention the constitution of two, rampant pandemics: overweight/obesity and global warming/climate change. Fortunately, growing awareness of the contradictions of modern food is sparking lively counter movements. We challenge the widespread preoccupation over how agriculture, food, and development should be. Instead, we focus on how everyday experience in agriculture and food is. The work of social movements in the Americas leads us to call attention to the forces of change in people’s everyday encounters with food – not as characterised in concept, but rather as embodied in practice.