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Feature - issue #3

Food for Thought

Community groups and retailers are finding ways to change the way we engage with food and with each other. We examine three urban-focused schemes that are having an impact both locally and globally.

Preparing food with Kitchen Social at Triangle Adventure Playground, Oval, London, UK.Photograph courtesy of Kitchen social © Ben Stevens

It is important that everyone can access nutritious, affordable food. It takes many attributes to build a successful, healthy, thriving community, but food is a key component. Good, nutritious food should be everyone’s birthright.

Where poverty exists, it is often accompanied by poor education and social disconnect, with an overabundance of fast food and a diet lacking in nutrition leading to poor health. But that doesn’t have to be the case, as Cleiton Campos shows us in his article about

Eduardo and Leonardo Santos, who are using social media to introduce organic community growing and a plant-based diet to a low-income audience in Campinas, Brazil. As Leonardo says: “On the margins there is access to food but not access to information.”

Every community around the world should be able to access healthy food, fostering an understanding that the food system can promote a positive connection to the planet and in turn a positive connection to each other. Clara Widdison examines how multifunctional food hubs can link consumers to providers with the aim of making people interdependent participants - growing, processing, cooking, and eating.

The final text by Laurence Lindar considers the Kitchen Social scheme in London, England, where local children from families suffering food poverty and from the wider community can come together in the school holidays to socialise, engage in a range of activities, and eat a nutritious meal. As one participant states: “It’s nice to know there’s a space where you can have a say in how things go, that could be the lunch menu or it could mean being creative.”

We need these examples of how people are challenging the status quo to improve access to healthy food in cities around the world. We must design our food systems to care for, heal, nourish and support us, and future generations to come.

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