By Jayne Glass
Between 2007 and 2008, the ‘Fife Diet’ challenged people to sign-up to eating food only from the region of Fife for a year. Funded by the Climate Challenge fund, the project raised awareness of how our ‘normal’ eating habits contribute to climate change through the emissions generated in transport, agriculture, industry and in the home. The organisers and participants monitored their progress and shared their experiences with a much larger network of people trying to re-localise more generally and to explore what sustainable food might be.
In the April 2010 edition of the ‘Social’ section of Geography Compass, Edmund M. Harris considers how those seeking alternatives to industrialized and globalized food systems have looked beyond organic production to develop a range of alternative food networks (AFNs). There are links between AFN activism and geographical theory of place because many AFNs are set in ‘local’ places, in which relationships of trust, regard and responsibility are perceived to circulate within the ‘local community’. Harris argues that the academic discourse surrounding AFNs would be enriched by a stronger theoretical engagement with geographical space and place theory because such an exchange would help to develop a more nuanced understanding of the role place plays in food systems.