Fragmented Regional Worlds: Inequality and Populism in a Globalising World
The University of Sydney, Australia
You are where you eat? What is the role for geography, spatial planning and regional development in the quest for healthier and more sustainable food systems?
The aim of this Conference is to create an arena for cross-disciplinary consideration of how complex geographical factors help influence patterns of food production and consumption, within an overall agenda of seeking to promote healthier and more sustainable food systems.
Dr Maarten Stapper gives the presentation Healthy food from vibrant communities in healthy landscapes on Tuesday 4 July at 16:00 in a session ‘You Are What You Eat’. Based on the deteriorating health of people, landscapes and planet, he makes a case for the need to break out of the current paths dominating our foods and supported by science, technology and economics. However, consumer demand for ethical & ecological food, chemical-free and local, is driving changes in food provisioning. Food sovereignty can be achieved with a transformation in food production from industrial to local agroecological, which minimises the use of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals. Such production systems produce healthy food from regenerated healthy soils. Successful transition requires governments at all levels to create regionally enabling environments for production, processing and trading of local food by communities and small businesses.
Healthy food from vibrant communities in healthy landscapes
Dr Maarten Stapper FAIAST, BioLogic AgFood
Current modes of food provisioning have developed from cheap oil through industrialisation of food production and processing, and the increasing food miles of globalised markets. They have led to decreasing health of people, declining nutritional content of food, degrading soils, depleting water resources, water and air pollution, diminishing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, and are exacerbating global warming. The costs of these factors are not reflected in the price of food, but many are borne by the producer and ultimately the tax payer.
Science, institutions and governments keep following this dominant path of food provisioning which is supported by multinational corporations. They only tinker at the edges and treat symptoms with band-aids rather than tackling the cause of problems in these complex systems. Consumer demand for ethical & ecological food, chemical-free and local, however, is driving changes in food provisioning. Globally there is an ever-increasing organic food demand, and patronage of community supported agriculture and urban farming, connecting rural with urban, local production with consumption. These bottom-up preferences have to be reconciled with top-down policies to support healthier and more sustainable food systems for our fragmented City-Regional, consumer oriented societies.
It restores the water cycle, mineral cycle and biodiversity of landscapes while minimising water and air pollution. Associated soil carbon sequestration, reduction in emissions and increased soil water retention will slow global warming.
Agroecological farming has been endorsed by United Nation agencies as the way to feed the world, without requiring GMO technology. Strengths are the greater use of local resources, knowledge and skills with linkages in regional communities. Farmers are provided with agroecological management tools for a profitable, successful transition to heathy, nutrient dense food production in biodiverse landscapes. In the process of ‘learning by doing’, they learn to see and experience the living soil-plant-animal systems on their farm.
Successful transition requires governments at all levels to create regionally enabling environments for production, processing and trading of local food by communities and small businesses. Education of students, consumers and producers in preventative health of self, plants, animals and Earth is critical. Producers and consumers need to (re)develop and use the capacity to be biosensitive, becoming less mechanistic, to trust nature and be in tune with, sensitive to, and respectful of the processes of life.
Changes in science and appropriate policies are needed to create enabling environments for transition towards sustainable urban food provisioning. This to meet the increasing consumer demand for ethical & ecological food, and prevention of continuing soil degradation and ecosystem collapse. Science must develop a unified methodology to study holistically agroecosystems. Governments, producers and consumers have to connect with scientists to solve problems encountered in local practice. Local solutions for global healing!
time : 16:00
date : Tuesday 4th July, 2017
location : Regional Studies Association, University of Sydney
email : email@example.com