‘Sitopia already exists.’

Taken from Sociological Images:

In the past year, food and sustainability within an urban context have become very important to me. I grew up as a product of typical urban, lower middle class American food consumption- I didn’t care much about it’s origins to an extent, only its convenience. This also led me to not really care about food at all and its relation to my general health, which led to extremely unhealthy eating habits. As I got older, this changed slightly and I tried to expand my culinary palette and started buying vegetables at the local market (though I have to state that at this point I was living in a rural suburb.)

Once I moved to London and had to fend for myself, I began to really analyse and adjust my relationship with food. When I graduated and moved to west London, the garden became a vegetable patch complete with a compost bin. For a large percentage of the year, the house became somewhat self-sustaining, with most veg and herbs coming from the back yard. The household also began to shop at local markets as well as supermarkets. I tried to buy seasonal fruits and started looking at where my food was being raised. I also seriously started questioning my meat consumption, which has caused me to limit how much meat I eat (though I was always a rubbish carnivore). What I enjoy about living in London is that it is fairly easy to buy local and British, which not only helps farmers but helps combat deforestation (and the loss of animal habitats), forced labour, and the loss of food in other nations. Most importantly, I started to care about food, how it sustains me and my role in promoting positive and negative food practices. I realised that I couldn’t continue to be complacent in bad agricultural and meat policies by ignoring the issues at hand. I am now cheered every time I hear about urban argricultural movements and developments, from urban farms and vegetable plots to urban beekeeping and gardens created in low socioeconomic areas. So many of our issues with food are tied to class, culture and consumerism, so I am glad that it is finally starting to be addressed in a productive and open way. I am still learning about food and consumption, but I feel that I am gaining the right tools to understand and do my part.

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