- ItemKumusha and masalads: (inter)generational foodways and urban food security in Zimbabwe(Springer Nature, 2022-11-10) Brouwer, Sara F.Understandings of urban foodways in Zimbabwe and other African countries have been dominated by food security frameworks. The focus on material scarcity and measurable health outcomes within these frameworks has often obscured the socio-cultural dimension of foodways and the historical and political structures that have shaped, and continue to shape, everyday relationships with food among different groups of urban residents in cities. Addressing these often-overlooked aspects, this paper looks at intergenerational contestations over foodways in a midsized high-density Zimbabwean town. Presenting results of 6-months ethnographic fieldwork involving participant observation and semi-structured interviews, the paper explores meanings and practices of food in a postcolonial urban setting using three generational groups as a point of departure. These groups are youth (aged 15 to 25 years old), a post-independence generation (aged 26 to 43) and a pre-independence middle-aged generation (aged 43 to 65). Findings show that foodways of the three generations, each having experienced Zimbabwe’s (post-)colonial political economy in different ways, are negotiated through postcolonial socio-ecological relations, urban–rural connections and social hierarchies articulated through urban and rural space. The paper concludes that to understand urban food security in a postcolonial setting, urbanites’ generation-specific life experiences and intergenerational negotiations around historically situated spatial and socio-ecological relations should be considered. The findings could inform urban food security policy to make it more targeted towards the needs of different generational groups as well as more attuned to urbanites’ dynamic socio-cultural foodways and the socio-ecological relations that shape these.
- ItemPower to the people? Food democracy initiatives’ contributions to democratic goods(Springer Nature, 2022-07-06) Candel, Jereon J. L.In order to foster a transition of the food system toward more sustainable outcomes, scholars have increasingly pointed at the need for organizing strengthened food democracy. By increasing the participation of citizens and food system actors, democratic innovations, such as food policy councils, are believed to promote the quality and legitimacy of food policymaking. However, the question of whether and how food democracy initiatives do indeed contribute to more democratic modes of governance largely remains unexplored. This study addresses this gap by performing a systematic literature review of the existing scholarship on food democracy, assessing democratic innovations for their contributions to four democratic goods: inclusiveness, popular control, considered judgment and transparency. The analysis shows that food democracy initiatives tend to be dominated by organized interests, have more influence on agenda-setting and implementation compared to decision-making, and generally aim for some form of deliberation or knowledge exchange. The precise selection mechanisms, processes and quality of deliberation, and transparency of democratic innovations remain important research gaps. The paper ends with a plea to better connect food democracy scholarship with the broader political sciences, as well as various suggestions for future research.
- ItemFood democracy: possibilities under the frame of the current food system(Springer Nature, 2021-04-14) López Cifuentes, Marta; Gugerell, ChristinaFood democracy is a concept with growing influence in food research. Food democracy deals with how actors may regain democratic control over the food system enabling its sustainable transformation. Following multi-level perspective framework's connotations, food democracy research has so far mainly focused on the niche level of the food system. An integrative approach that includes the perspectives of both the regime and the niche is still missing. This study addresses this research gap and proposes a new conceptual framework for food democracy that includes actors from the niche and the regime level. Furthermore, we apply our conceptual framework to the urban food system of Vienna (Austria) to explore the deeper meaning and practice of food democracy. Finally, we have conducted semi-structured interviews with actors at niche level (10) and regime level (25) within Vienna’s urban food system. Findings from this research broaden the perspective on food democracy and illustrate actors’ contributions at niche and regime level such as promoting organic food, re-localizing food provision, and procuring environmentally sustainable public food. Barriers to food democracy were also identified, e.g.: actors’ self-enhancement values, market-orientation, and capitalist alignment or lack of transparency. We conclude that actors at the niche and, to some extent, at the regime level may contribute to a process of on-going changes that fosters a transformation of established structures within the food system.
- ItemEcovillage foodscapes: zooming in and out of sustainable food practices(Springer Nature, 2021-04-29) Ulug, Ciska; Trell, Elen-Maaja; Horlings, LumminaThis article uses foodscapes as a lens to explore the potential of ecovillages’ food practices towards enhancing sustainable food systems. Ecovillages are collective projects where members attempt to integrate sustainability principles into daily community life. In these communities, food acts, not only as an element of social life, but also as a venue through which to interact with mainstream food systems and society. Yet, how food practices at ecovillages contribute to sustainable food systems remains vague. This article proposes foodscapes, as a lens, for exploring the sustainability potential of place-based food practices in ecovillages, while also directing attention to how these practices intersect with networks at broader social and spatial scales. It asks, how can we better understand and draw from sustainable food practices, when considering these as both, place-based and relational? And what is the potential and the role of ecovillage communities to contribute to broader sustainable food system change? Drawing on ethnographic and food mapping methods, the article explores selected food practices at three ecovillage communities in the United States. Using social practice theory for “zooming in” on place-based practices and “zooming out” to examine relational networks, we investigate how these communities create internally sustainable food systems, while externally bridging themselves with broader urban and rural communities. Through viewing ecovillage food practices as place-based and relational, we develop a broader and spatially-focused understanding of food system sustainability.
- ItemSocial justice-oriented narratives in European urban food strategies: Bringing forward redistribution, recognition and representation(Springer Nature, 2021-11-07) Smaal, Sara A. L.; Dessein, Joost; Wind, Barend J.; Rogge, ElkeMore and more cities develop urban food strategies (UFSs) to guide their efforts and practices towards more sustainable food systems. An emerging theme shaping these food policy endeavours, especially prominent in North and South America, concerns the enhancement of social justice within food systems. To operationalise this theme in a European urban food governance context we adopt Nancy Fraser’s three-dimensional theory of justice: economic redistribution, cultural recognition and political representation. In this paper, we discuss the findings of an exploratory document analysis of the social justice-oriented ambitions, motivations, current practices and policy trajectories articulated in sixteen European UFSs. We reflect on the food-related resource allocations, value patterns and decision rules these cities propose to alter and the target groups they propose to support, empower or include. Overall, we find that UFSs make little explicit reference to social justice and justice-oriented food concepts, such as food security, food justice, food democracy and food sovereignty. Nevertheless, the identified resources, services and target groups indicate that the three dimensions of Fraser are at the heart of many of the measures described. We argue that implicit, fragmentary and unspecified adoption of social justice in European UFSs is problematic, as it may hold back public consciousness, debate and collective action regarding food system inequalities and may be easily disregarded in policy budgeting, implementation and evaluation trajectories. As a path forward, we present our plans for the RE-ADJUSTool that would enable UFS stakeholders to reflect on how their UFS can incorporate social justice and who to involve in this pursuit.