This research project investigates how the city dweller influences the food system. It explores new disruptive developments and proposes actionable steps to improve consumer connectivity to the food system. This approach enhances the relationship between actual demand for healthy and honest produce and the food system at large.
The answer to the central question "how can we sustainably feed the city of tomorrow?" becomes a lot clearer because of the approach from this exploration. By equating the consumer's perspective, or social sustainability, with that of the food production system, or physical sustainability, a new, helpful view of the relationship between city dwellers and food emerges.
It is crucial to realize that there is a disconnect between the physical and social parts of this relationship, which is both cause and consequence of the unsustainable nature of the food system.
A good understanding and a good approach are the starts. We are not there yet. What we eat, how we feed ourselves, and how we make our choices get to the heart of who we are as people.
This research reveals new choices to take concrete steps towards a healthy and robust food system.
When analyzing the food system according to SiD-ELSIA, something striking emerges. The ultimate goal of the system- a well-fed urban dweller- is almost exclusively within the level of the Individual. On the other hand, the food industry is almost exclusively at the Energy and Life levels. Only at the level of Society do they encounter each other in an economic transaction.
Labels are a possible solution, but not the only one.