Why cities make people fat and sick

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabyu/

Our #CityTalk last week which crowdsourced ideas under the heading “Food and the City”, looked at various ways and ideas in which food security, urban farming, economic growth, food wastage and many other food factors impacted cities.

In this Cape Talk interview with author of The Hungry Season Leonie Joubert, food security is put under the spotlight. Joubert calls on city planners to give more thought about feeding the city, given food wastage and the lack of access to land for farming. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeonieJoubert

Read more about the book below, as well as an animation which more clearly tackles and explains the issue.

The food we eat is as diverse as the cultures and lifestyles of the people consuming it. But the issues underlying food run much deeper than the whims of our cultures or palates. Until now, the subject of food security has mostly been viewed as a rural issue, with research and development work honing in on subsistence farming. But with the massive influx into cities, the focus needs to shift to the metropolis.

The Hungry Season takes science writer Leonie Joubert and photographer Eric Miller to eight different cities and towns around southern Africa as they explore the complex issues around food security, including:

  • Childhood stunting and malnutrition;
  • The transition from traditional ‘African’ to ‘Western’ diets;
  • Chronic lifestyle-related illnesses associated with a modern diet;
  • Nutritional literacy, behaviour and choices;
  • Large-scale food production and urban food gardens;
  • Poverty, joblessness and the geography of the city;
  • Urban planning, supermarkets and the full food value chain; and
  • Food wastage.

Source: Pan Macmillan http://panmacmillan.co.za/catalogue/the-hungry-season/

Sea Monster and Leonie Joubert created this animated explainer film for The Open Society of South Africa, The Centre of Criminology and the Embassy of Finland. The explainer deals with three major issues around “Food Security” – Malnutrition, Poverty and Gender.