On January 13, I (Richard McCarthy) had the pleasure to moderate a discussion to commemorate the day Dan Saladino’s Eating to Extinction’s paperback edition was released: Food Diversity Day! During our session on the role of cities to promote biodiversity in food, I was so encouraged to find considerable consensus for the need to identify and support efforts that link cities to surrounding per-urban and rural regions.
• Chef and writer Thomasina Miers advocates for public procurement of local foods for canteens;
• Farmerarama’s Dora Taylor insists that more growing land exists in and near cities than is usually recognized;
• Nordic biodiversity activist Jannie Vestergaard seeks creative ways to break the logjam between consumers who seek great biodiversity and national policies that discourage it;
• Influential author Carolyn Steel assures us that while it may not feel like we’re winning, there are so many efforts that amount to municipal consensus for more nature in cities.
For those organizers and fans of farmers markets, no single strategy effortlessly brings the soft edges of nature into town on a regular basis than farmers markets. Our challenge is to link what we do with what others do — as a combined effort to retool the city as an ally to food diversity. Our scale of eaters is both friend and foe to small producers. The more we embrace biodiverse flavours, the more we endorse a multitude of diverse and independent food producers.
The full recording of the discussion is available on YouTube – here!
Featured Photo: Dan Saladino’s book Eating to Extinction (Photo Credit: Dan Saladino)