What is Food Justice to you?

In 2014, just a few months after I returned to the U.K. from Hong Kong I wrote the following:

Continue reading


The following link is to a paper I wrote for a special issue of Europe Now that focused on Waste.  Original available here: https://www.europenowjournal.org/2019/05/06/the-multiple-ontologies-of-surplus-food/

This paper draws from Mol’s work, and particularly her work on health. And Ontology is the theory of what is real. Because what is real comes before human understanding and sits outside language, humans we can never fully know or describe what is real. Instead we have theories about what it might (ontologies) be and how we can know it (epistemologies).

These theories are based on a metric of good enoughness. Do they work? All sciences are underpinned by this. Knowledge itself is a human construction, although what we seek to know sits beyond that. Understanding different views creates a whole that is rooted in time and place–an ephemeral reality.

Why does this matter? Well, wen we understand this and that what is real in a given time and place, we can seek to und we stand the qualities of a thing that can be called into existence when we shift the configuration. It’s like alchemy. What was in one circumstance waste material can in another configuration become something that produces value.

Another metaphor for this might be the kaleidoscope, where shifting the elements, foregrounding some, changing the juxtapositions changes what we see and what it is.

Food is food…or is it?

This blog post asks the question–Should we make distinctions between different foods, depending upon where those foods come from?  Continue reading

Redistributing food Surplus!

Researchers for WRAP estimate that the UK currently produces 1.9 million tonnes of waste each year from the grocery supply chain[1].  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

Neoliberalism and the making of food as waste–or–The need to reframe the debate from food waste to food surplus

I seem to do a lot of talks and in doing so sometimes this involves reshaping and thinking further about talks I have given in the past.  On Monday I presented at the Annual Symposium held by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield.  There were many papers that I felt sat well next to each other.  I particularly could see the synergies between my presentation and that of John Miller, who is in the English Department, who talked about natural capital and the humanities. Value was a central part of his discussion and I thought it well with my text.   This text is a revised version of what I presented earlier this year at West Town Farm as part of the IBG meetings.  
Continue reading