Knowledge for better food systems

Sitopia: How food can save the world

This book by Carolyn Steel sets out a vision for a healthier, more ethical future food system. It discusses climate change mitigation, new food technologies, and the relation of food to ideas of a good life.

Publisher’s summary

We live in a world shaped by food, a Sitopia (sitos = food; topos = place). Food, and how we search for and consume it, has defined our human journey. This visionary book shows us how food can help us build our future too.

  • How can we lead healthy and ethical lives in a world where cheap, poorly produced food is the norm?
  • How do we reform the production and distribution of food to avoid irrevocable climate change?
  • What role will mind-blowing technological advances play in the future?
  • How can food help us live a good, meaningful life?

From our foraging hunter-gatherer ancestors to the enormous appetites of modern cities, food has shaped our bodies and homes, our politics and trade, and our climate. Whether it’s the daily decision of what to eat, or the monopoly of industrial food production, food touches every part of our world. But by forgetting its value, we have drifted into a way of life that threatens our planet and ourselves.

Yet food remains central to addressing the predicaments and opportunities of our urban, digital age. Drawing on insights from philosophy, history, architecture, literature, politics and science, as well as stories of the farmers, designers and economists who are remaking our relationship with food, Sitopia is a provocative and exhilarating vision for change, and how to thrive on our crowded, overheating planet. In her inspiring and deeply thoughtful new book, Carolyn Steel, author of Hungry City, points the way to a better future.

 

Reference

Steel, C. (2020). Sitopia: How food can save the world. Chatto & Windus, London.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource resource What about the relationship between food, culture, ethics and social norms?

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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