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The social ecology of food: where agroecology and heritage meet

Moussouri, T; Rahman, D; Alexopoulos, G; (2021) The social ecology of food: where agroecology and heritage meet. Sustainability , 13 (24) , Article 13981. 10.3390/su132413981. Green open access

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Abstract

The current food system is unsustainable and no longer able to cope with the challenges caused by climate change and consumer behaviours. In this context, agroecology, with its commitment to crossing disciplinary boundaries, has been endorsed as one of the main approaches to the creation of a sustainable food system. Despite this, the integration of the social research on food has not been evident enough in agroecology as a discipline. To be sure, studies related to foodways, food traditions, and, more recently, food heritage have long been present, and have provided important insights into the social and cultural aspects of food. However, there appears to be little convergence between this body of research and the mainstream agroecology literature. This paper aims to address this disconnection between the sociocultural and environmental aspects of the food system, and to propose ways of moving forward. We argue that knowledge about food heritage can be a catalyst for the achievement of agroecology’s vision for whole-system transformative change, and a moving towards global food security and nutrition. Using the agroecology framework of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and looking at the examples of the subak system in Indonesia and the EU-funded BigPicnic project, we employ the elements of ‘co-creation and sharing of knowledge’, ‘culture and food traditions’ and ‘human and social values’ as entry points for the creation of sustainable transitions of the food and agricultural systems.

Type: Article
Title: The social ecology of food: where agroecology and heritage meet
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/su132413981
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413981
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: agroecology; socio-cultural research on food; food heritage; food system; food tradition; co-creation of knowledge
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140215
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