Urban agriculture research
Growing food in cities. A report to highlight and promote the benefits of urban agriculture in the UK
Food is central to our lives. It is a source of enjoyment as well as nourishment.
But food is also at the core of many problems in society. Nearly 800 million
people in the southern hemisphere are chronically malnourished1, while in the
industrialised world, many die from the effects, such as stroke and coronary heart
disease, of overconsumption.
In the UK, many poor urban neighbourhoods have become food retailing
deserts, where access to good food shops2 and markets is rare. Parts of the
countryside too are becoming desertified - economically - with farming
employing only 2.2% of the population3 - and environmentally - as chemical
residues contaminate waterways and destroy wildlife, and processing and
distribution by road and air also generates pollution and packaging waste.
As a nation of town and city dwellers, we have lost contact with the land and
with the way food is produced. Although cookery books and TV programmes are
enormously popular, cooking, for many people, has become a spectator sport -
reliance on processed ‘convenience’ food has never been greater. And whilst
shops are crammed with transcontinental luxury produce, British local and
regional foods and recipes are disappearing.
One way of reconnecting with the land and with our culture is by growing
Publisher: National Food Alliance and SAFE publication (1996)
Author: Tara Garnett
Category: Health Environment
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