Before we all tuck into the holiday season’s cheer and good food, I'd like to draw attention to "Food Rights and Food Fights". The talented Masters students from SUMs Culture Environment and Sustainability program are responsible for this publication, and you can access the journal online here: http://tvergasteinjournal.wordpress.com/
The text below is the editorial from the Tvergastein Board of Editors:
In our daily lives, many of us take the food we eat for granted, yet what we eat has tremendous consequences. Food is unique in that it is something everyone on earth can relate to. It is what sustains us all, irrespective of heritage, background and geographical location. Food is a part of cultural identity and has social, environmental, economic and political implications. In this issue of Tvergastein, we address food as one of this century’s most pressing global issues.
The food strikes that occurred in many parts of the world in 2007 were brought on by significant increases in food prices, economic instability, and social unrest within the food system. These strikes served as a stark reminder, not only of our interconnectedness in food supply and production, but also of the great injustices that the globalized food system has created. It is also clear that food, health, and economic factors are heavily interlinked. According to the World Health Organisation, with the exception of Africa, the leading cause of death in low and middle income countries is non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which are often linked to poor diet and lack of access to healthy foods. Accessing healthy food is a serious economic challenge for many, not only in developing nations, but in supermarkets and households worldwide, as they are often more expensive than cheaper, heavily-processed alternatives.
From addressing climate change through growing one’s own vegetables, to managing the global struggle against obesity and diabetes, food has become a means of addressing some of the serious problems environmental, social and economic problems we face. While some contributors to “Food Rights and Food Fights” unveil the most pressing issues and consequences of the modern food system, others, such as Andreas Viestad and the interview with Annikken Rustad Jøssund provide innovative solutions and case studies of Oslo-based initiatives. From Cecilie Hirsch’s piece on food rights in Bolivia to Kristian Bjørkdahl’s interview with Gunhild Stordalen at the EAT Forum in Stockholm, “Food Rights and Food Fights” spans the globe in an effort to critique the current food system, provide alternatives, and inspiration for a healthy and sustainable future.