Tag - food security

Xhosa Cole – The Hand That Feeds – At the End of the Day.

At the End of the Day

by Xhosa Cole

Xhosa Cole - THTF

Before having met Kate Cooper I’d never really thought about the food that I’d used to put into my body. Of course I’d always been lectured about 5-a-day, 2 litres of water a day and that stuff but as far a I was concerned I was a invincible teenaged boy without a care in the world- as long as my stomach wasn’t rumbling I was happy!

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Sustainable Food for Cities? It’s a numbers game, not community food growing game

Lincolnshire_croppedWe’re facing urgent challenges with regard to sustainable food supplies, the stuff people were talking about at the Warwick Climate Forum earlier in the month.

The Sustainable Food Cities Conference I went to in Bristol last week was a stark contrast to the Warwick gathering. 

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Session 3: What we want and what we need

zoomSo how do we tackle the problem of food crime and food standards? In an ideal world there would be a basket of measures. But here’s a few things we need to know before we take our ideas along to the checkout.

We’d need to share best practice so we’d need to be able to communicate it far, far better.

We’d need to be aware that there is a powerful food lobby that would be resistant to change.

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#BrumElliott Session 1: ‘I eat at Michelin-starred restaurants so I can be confident of my food.’


You don’t have to scratch too deep to start hearing horror stories – and the rumour of horror stories – when it comes to food as one group at the New Optimists event.

Food safety affects the poorest people in society and that’s a worry.

People are desperate to feed the kids.

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Sustainability West Midlands: Supper meeting on Food Security

I was asked to lead the discussion with invited guests at the Sustainable Supper meeting on 30th April. It was on Food Security: What does it take to feed our towns and cities in the West Midlands?

Sustainability West Midlands, who hosted the event, have just published the interesting notes of the discussion, which you can download from here.

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TNOfood 10th September 2012 table discussion questions

Breakout discussions at TNOfood event 10th September 2012

We’ve finished the presentations and broken out into tables discussing the following five themes:

Kate Cooper: Feeding the City – What should Birmingham do?

Kate Cooper at New Optimists Food Forum 10th September 2012

Kate Cooper opened the presentations this evening (here are Kate’s slides).

After looking at the viability of growing food locally – and the resources this would actually require – including some mythbusting about what food security actually is, Kate summarised with a slide asking

“What should Birmingham do?”

Kate’s three recommendations:

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Birmingham Sustainability Forum: Feeding the City

The New Optimists Forum has uncovered a lot of issues facing what it takes and will take to feed a city population, Birmingham’s in particular.

So I’ve been asked to kick off the next Birmingham Sustainability Forum on 10th September, 6pm in the Banqueting Suite at the Council House — it’s on Feeding the City.

Given the sheer volume of info we’ve gathered, I’m spending quite a bit of time thinking through what to say. It seems to me that there are three main areas up for grabs to discuss:

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New Optimists Forum: What’s happened so far

We’ve run three events: on 2nd November, on 9th February (specifically on food poverty) and on 1st March.

The outputs (recordings, transcripts from the conversations, blogposts, interviews, tweets) from these events are analysed under the guidance of Warwick Business School, and will be posted soon.

Meanwhile, here’s a one-pager summary of the impact of the New Optimists Forum: NewOptimistsForum-27thFeb2012.

Top of our impact list is that food and food issues are rising smartly up the agenda in the city. Indeed, there are more than a few intimations that food security will be part of Birmingham’s long-term strategic planning.

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#TNOfood notes from table 2

Notes and New Optimist books on the tableThis was a free-flowing conversation and the notes below are paraphrased rather than quotations.

Leaving food aside for the moment, what will the city of Birmingham be like in 2050? What if there is no public transport? What if lorries can’t enter the city? Life would be more localised.

Birmingham’s Big City Plan runs until 2050 and envisages expansion. How will housing expansion be handled? Housing will be built in those areas with least lines of resistance.

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