CityTalks – Food security

I went along to the Food Security CityTalks on Tuesday night cos, you know, I’m all about food security.

The keynote speaker was David McWilliams, purveyor of Punk Economics. His keynote address included an animation which pretty well summed up my entire Masters degree in 5 minutes. Thanks Dave! You can view some of his Punk Economics animations here.

Once David was done, the foodies, restaurateurs and chefs took to the stage. It was a bad combination. In the context of global food insecurity, Justin Hemmes is an unpalatable speaker choice. How can you balance the message of global food inequity – where people in the west die of obesity related diseases while those in the south are starving to death – with a stage full of people who charge $30 a plate for food?

The Foodies Unite

But you know, they’re Green, they’re Global, they’re Connected – so there was some good representation from OzHarvest and the Youth Food Movement. But otherwise, the problems of inner city poverty was ignored. I love the concept of growing your own food, but is that really an option for those with no connection to their housing; for the urban poor, those who rent, those who live in threat of having to move regularly, those who sublet or live in boarding houses – it’s not feasible for them to ‘grow their own’.

While many of the speakers urged residents to support farmers, they failed to mention the elephant in the room – the stranglehold that Coles and Woolworths has on the whole Australian food and transport chain.

I’m a big fan of Jared Ingersoll of Danks Street Depot, but when he talks about education he means educating people about the Australian food situation. But I think there needs to be greater emphasis on educating young and old about how our choices affect the global food situation and about the problems faced by the global poor.

You can view the CityTalks for yourself here.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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