The centrality of food for social emancipation

Civic food networks as real utopias projects 1

Authored by: Maria Fonte , Ivan Cucco

Routledge Handbook Of Food As A Commons

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138062627
eBook ISBN: 9781315161495
Adobe ISBN:


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In activist narratives and academic debates, food has become an agent of change. Rather than considering it as a simple commodity, food, articulated as ‘local food’ or even better as ‘civic food’, has been linked to transformative projects and visions of a more equitable, ethical and sustainable economy and society. Its alternativeness rests on the connection to the territory, i.e. to the agro-ecological and social context in which food is produced and consumed. As for the agro-ecological conditions, the local food discourse promotes respect for the environment and nature. As for the social context, it emphasizes the inclusion of people who are currently marginalized by the corporate and increasingly financialized food production system. This movement implies, on the one hand, the protection of small farms and their tacit knowledge; on the other hand, a concern for the poor voiced in requests for their right to a healthy, culturally sound diet.

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