For decades, the production of cheap food has taken place at the expense of people health and soil health.
The global system of commodity agriculture, in particular, has gravely damaged our relationships – with each other, with the land, and with nature.
Commodities have no identity, no story, no place.
Their dominance in global trade has therefore caused a loss of identity and community, especially in rural areas.
Social food projects re-make relationships – between people, food and place – damaged by the commodity-based system.
With a focus on care, not just consumption, social food projects reconnect urban and rural in a spirit of mutual respect, and a practice of shared responsibility.
In the language of public policy – which determines how governments spend our taxes – social food projects create ‘public goods’ in the form of social cohesion, public health, territorial development, food sovereignty, farmer livelihoods, learning, innovation, and biodiversity.
Social food projects are a medium of hospitality, and therefore mutual understanding, among citizens of diverse cultures.
The direct participation of citizens in farm-based activities can diversify income for farmers, and reduce their social isolation.
Socially-connected farmers add resilience to a region’s food system. Social food projects are central to the emergence of new rural economies.
They are pivotal in many ‘smart village’ and ‘smart neighbourhood’ projects in which relationships among social networks are enhanced by digital telecommunications.