The critical need to rethink food
Few weeks go by without a worrying report on food. In these, there is a consensus between global government and global science.
Reports of crop failures, soil erosion, water shortages, extreme weather, the ravages of animal agriculture and agriculture-induced climate change describe considerable threats to global food security.
Studies of obesity, type two diabetes and food poverty and hunger press home the critical relationship between food and health.
We are constantly reminded, too, of the environmental damage that intensive food production can bring, and that, at the end of it all, the amount of food that we waste sums to more than 1% of the value of everything that the world produces.
Manifestly, to use only these examples, there is a ‘food job’ to be done.
A local response to a global crisis
The Lincolnshire Food Partnership was set up to give thought and action to these problems. Certainly, at the national and global scale we can form a view, and lobby, but critically there is action that can be taken locally. And this is a view held by our national parent body, Sustainable Food Places, which acts as an umbrella for more that 50 like-mined groups across England.
Since our inception at the end of 2016, our emphasis has been on the most pressing of the above needs, food poverty.
Poverty, health and sustainability
We have worked closely with the County foodbanks to orchestrate food supply and resources, without displacing any of their delivery functions.
Sourcing edible ‘waste’ food has been part of this, working with Fare Share, HIS Church and the Lincolnshire Coop. We also have helped to manage the central government funds set aside for food poverty brought about by COVID 19.
We have sought, too, through membership of a range of bodies such as the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Lincoln Climate Commission, the County Health and Well-being Strategy and the like, to extend our local influence and convey our message.
And we work with the education of children – the only long-term solution to change – through radical ‘food schools’ such as the Washingborough Academy.
And whilst food poverty has been our most pressing issue, ultimately, the production of wholesome, fresh, local food that is good for both health and the environment, is probably our most important issue.
This is why we are now embarking on the establishment of a network of community food growers across the County, under the imprimatur of Incredible Edible in Lincolnshire, to establish systems of local sustainable food, that will provide benefits in both the growing and the eating of food, for the County population.
We would be delighted if you were able to join us in this journey.