This blog post asks the question–Should we make distinctions between different foods, depending upon where those foods come from? Continue reading
I’ve just about finished the final report for the Feeding Affordances project I did with Doncaster Council last year. As a result, Doncaster is setting itself up as a sustainable food city and is already doing fantastic things with its third sector organisations in its communities. I am constantly awed by what people do to support each other.
I’ve uploaded the (nearly) final report from the project onto my academia.edu account if you are interested in reading it. I welcome feedback on the content. I would also really like to know if it gets used and helps to inform action or policy at local levels. For either of these, or if you are struggling to download a copy, leave a message and I will get back to you.
Here is the synopsis of the report:
There is an emerging context of social support withdrawal as a result of funding withdrawal by central government is creating a context within which individuals, households and communities are having to increasingly seek support from third-sector organisations in the UK. This is happening through:
- ⇒ The introduction and eventual rollout of Universal Credit are likely to contribute further to these inequalities, but there also may be opportunities for improving diets.
- ⇒ A squeeze on the abilities of local authorities to support their communities as local authority remits have expanded to include addressing diet-related public health and public health inequalities, which include health inequalities that arise out of food poverty. Local authorities will also become responsible for supporting the way in which individuals and families will have to cope with the transition to Universal Credit. At the same time, as local authority remits are expanding they are facing draconian cuts to their budgets such that there are staff reductions resulting in cuts to the capacity of the LA to deliver programmes.
- ⇒ There has been a rise in community and third-sector organisations who are concerned with helping to reduce health inequalities by helping to reduce food poverty.Given the importance that resilience is playing in helping local authorities to resolve the gaps that austerity is creating, it is clear that more research is needed that examines the dimensions of resilience (adapting, coping, transforming). Specifically with regard to how:
- ⇒ Activities within these three areas can contributing to different scales of resilience (individual, household, community, and local authority area);
- ⇒ How collectively activities within an area contribute to a landscape of resilience enabling support.A more collaborative approach may enable local authorities to better work with these third-sector organisations to best realise the possibilities that partnership could provide. Recommendations for more collaborative working are detailed in this report and are based on community-based research, participant observation, consultation with community organisations and local authorities, and the outcomes of a co-production workshop.
This research was funded by ESRC IAA award number R/145185
Over the last year I’ve been conducting research with Doncaster Public Health to help them understand how to move beyond interventions that target people and try to nudge them into changing their behaviour. My work has focused on trying to understand how context shapes what people can and cannot do. This post highlights some of the findings from the research and makes some suggestions about how councils can support communities to be more resilient food landscapes. Continue reading
This blog post draws from a forthcoming chapter I have written for The Routledge Handbook of Landscape and Food that is edited by Josh Zeunert and Tim Waterman. The book will be published early in 2018. I am drawing on a section that focuses on the food desert concept in order to show how the standard interventions aiming to address food deserts does little to reconfigure the institutional forces that give rise to unjust foodscapes in the first instance. The excerpt closes by identifying some of the ways that food justice activists are tyring to address the problems. The full chapter is available here to download. Continue reading
This is the text from my recently published peer-reviewed paper in the journal Local Environment. The paper will be part of a special issue on Food Justice edited by Agatha Herman and Mike Goodwin in the future. The e-paper is available, but behind a paywall until May 2018. I am making the text available here as per the copyright agreement, but for correct referencing please see: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13549839.2017.1328674
Researchers for WRAP estimate that the UK currently produces 1.9 million tonnes of waste each year from the grocery supply chain. Of this, about 56% (1.1. million tonnes) can be considered avoidable food waste. mostly because it is surpus and not yet waste. Wrap argues that after changing processes to reduce the amount of food becoming surplus, redistribution of surplus food to people is the most desirable option for food waste prevention. They estimate that about 18% is currently redistributed, with food from the retail sector accounting for about five percent of the total volume of redistributed food and the remainder coming from manufacturing. The WRAP report also considers that at least half of all the surplus could be considered ‘readily redistributable’, while the rest is more challenging because of its shorter life or need for repackaging. The aim is to increase the volume of surplus food that is redistributed by about four times the current amount (from 47,000 tonnes to 185,000 tonnes); to an equivalent of approximately 360 million meals per year by 2025. Achieving this goal will involve a doubling of the amount of food that is redistributed from retail to consumers. One of the recommendations of the report is the development of improved guidance and partnership tools that would facilitate food redistribution. Continue reading