Essay book Feeding the City with contributions by WUR

Published on
July 26, 2019

On 6 December 2018, the essay book ‘Feeding the city’ was presented. This book contains a wide range of future perspectives on the relation between urban areas, rural areas and food production. Martin Scholten, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck and Ron Methorst were among the contributors, and the preface was written by Louise O. Fresco. The English translation is now available.

Flevo Campus Live

The first copy was presented by compiler Joris Lohman to Jan-Nico Appelman, deputy of the province of Flevoland. The presentation took place during Flevo Campus Live, an event where 200 young farmers, students and young professionals came together to reflect on urban food challenges.

The future of our food system

In ‘Feeding the city’ eight authors address issues related to our food system in four essays. The first essay discusses the future of young farmers in a changing food landscape and the responsibility carried by them and other experts. This was also the central theme of Flevo Campus Live.

The other three essays study the food system on different levels: on a global, regional and urban scale. Loss of landscape, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, unhealthy diets – the negative side-effects of the cheap and efficient food system that was built up after the Second World War now outweigh the benefits. Everyone involved knows that change is needed. But even though people share the urgency and analysis, there are strong disagreements about the right way to change things. ‘Feeding the city’ calls the reader’s views and assumptions into question and offers a nuanced but daring future perspective. A must-read for anyone wondering what the future of our food system might look like.

Striking a balance

Louise O. Fresco: “The challenge lies in striking a balance between local and international, small and large scale, and all shades in between. What can be done to nurture the desire for local produce and yet secure the urban food supply? That’s what this essay book is about. The agriculture minister, Carola Schouten, has already made a good start to the debate about the conversion to kringlooplandbouw, circular agriculture.”

‘Feeding the city’ was written at the initiative of Flevo Campus, a cooperation between Aeres University of Applied Sciences, the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), the municipality of Almere and the province of Flevoland. The book was published by Van Gennep Publishers and the English translation is now available.