Food system for healthier diets: a practice-based perspective on informal food practices and governance in urban Nigeria
The project aims to explore the operations, functioning, and performance of food vending among the urban poor as it relates to health and diverse ready-to-eat foods provisioned through sociological perspective with interest in Social Practice Theory.
What is the project about?
In many major cities in Africa, population growth due to rural-urban migration, urbanization, and infrastructural development interface with food provisioning and consumption. These as well are changing the way people access foods in the urban area.
Most urban poor now rely on street food vending to meet their daily food needs. This has enhanced the growth and expansion of street food vending activities in many cities around the world, particularly in Africa, and Nigeria inclusive. It posed serious concerns about food security and nutrient intakes of urban poor, as they are vulnerable to high calorie, low variety of food groups and unhealthy foods provisioned by food vendors. Although, home-prepared food would have been preferred as the households determine the menu settings that can provide adequate nutritional value as well as food safety and hygiene, however, the urban changing dynamics in terms of socio-economic status and urban development coupled with tedious and complex daily life practices constrained households and individuals to seek for alternative food supply network to meet their daily food needs.
The project aims to explore the operations, functioning, and performance of food vending among the urban poor as it relates to health and diverse ready-to-eat foods provisioned through sociological perspective with interest in Social Practice Theory. This is important to the low-income urban class as it influences their nutrient intake, health, and food security. Our project asks a critical research question as to what ways can transforming informal food vending practices contribute to improved diversity of ready-to-eat foods provisioned among the urban poor in Nigeria? Following, we sub-divided our broad research question into: what constitutes the existing informal ready-to-eat food vending practices and their diversity of ready-to-eat food groups provisioned; in what ways can out-of-home consumption practices be understood as being shaped by the daily lives of urban poor consumers in the context of urban food provisioning; in what ways do governance arrangements steer and shape the wider out-of-home food provisioning practices of healthy, good quality, and diverse ready-to-foods; and finally, in what ways can changing practices and governance arrangements of informal ready-to-eat food vending contribute to improving and supporting health and diversity of ready-to-eat food provisioned?