Im currently researching the challenges that planners in London face around building and supporting sustainable food resources and so this article by Kendra Pierre-Louis is particularly interesting to me at the moment.
In this article she talks about how marketing organisations and food producers are now targeting LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) with organic food which is not necessarily healthy and although organically produced is not necessarily sustainable . She identifies this as chocolate made from ‘organic coco’ and coconut water, both very popular with organic foodies .
As a Londoner from an ethnic minority group, a point within the article that really struck me was on the question of Western demand for quinoa
Personally I am not into this or is it a native food source of my parents, but to date with my research, I have found that many writers currently support the local independent shops and produce found in many inner city deprived neighborhoods as a good example of local access to healthy foods, supermarket rivalry and a more sustainable source. However, while I dont doubt that some of the carrots, potatoes and peas are healthy and maybe locally sourced , what about the Yam, plantain and casava? While these are healthy foods, these are not local in anyway, and if they are given our climate they are not organic.
So my questions around sustainable food and the potential of planning is:
- In a globalised locality how do you grow organically and encourage better use of local traditional foods in a community where local is segregated, culturalized and sometimes feels entirely foreign?
- While evidence of community growing and local farmers market is evident throughout the UK, what is being done to challenge less sustainable but organically produced foods that arrive by Air to UK supermarkets international isles and local shops?
- Is there an educational gap on the ‘organic truth’ and are planners ready to challenge sections of the community on the less sustainable food choices?