Book Discussion #08 – Hungry City: How Foods Shapes Our Lives

Hi, Restless Spirits!
We will gather for the book discussion “Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives”, taken from the book that written by Carolyn Steel to discuss the relationship between the food and space we inhabit, re-tracing the food chain phenomenon in the urban living environment.

One of the most interesting things about Foods and Cities is the great number of aspects it touches: fairtrade, dietary habits, cooking skills, urban planning, regional development, community involvement, economy and agriculture, but also sustainability at a local and global scale. Carolyn Steel coined the word sitopia, from the ancient Greek words sitos (food) and topos (place). Sitopia is a way of recognizing the central role that food plays in our lives and of harnessing its potential to shape the world in a better way.

Hungry City is a book about how cities eat. That’s the quick definition. A slightly wordier one might that it’s about the eternal engine driving civilisation. Feeding cities arguably have a greater social and physical impact on us and our planet than anything else we do. Yet few of us in the West are conscious of the process. Food arrives on our plates as if by magic, and we rarely stop to wonder how it might have got there.

Hungry City follows food’s journey from land to the city, through market and supermarket, kitchen and table, waste-dump and back again, to show how food affects all our lives, and impacts on the planet. The final chapter asks how we might use food to re-think cities in the future – to design them and their hinterlands better, and live in them better too.

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