Visiting scholar Claire Baker – how global transformations affected a small rural community in Australia

Claire Paradise 2

Claire Baker visiting the social care farm ‘t Paradijs:

By Claire Baker, PhD-student from the University of New England in Australia.

Working title of my PhD-project: ‘Experiencing change in a globalising agricultural economy: An Australian ethnographic case study 1945-2015′.

I have been very fortunate to have spent some time with the dynamic Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University as a Visiting Scholar over the last couple of weeks. This has been an intensive period of discussion and reading during which I have further refined the theoretical and methodological framework for my research project. Continue reading

A Future for Food

Cover page of the 'Future for Food' report Gradually more countries are developing a more holistic policy approach to food. Today I came across a report entitled A Future for Food: Adressing public health, sustainability and equity from paddock to plate, written by Australia’s Public Health Association (PHAA). In this report the PHAA states that Australia is in urgent need of an integrated food policy and calls on public bodies (such as governmental departments and the education sector), private parties (such as the food industry) and the voluntary sector (e.g. community based organisations) to realise this integrated approach to food. The strength of this report is its focus on food as a multi-dimensional policy domain; i.e. a food policy should not solely focus on nutrition but should also include a broad approach to public health as well as issues of environmental quality and social inequalities. What I particularly like in this report is the aim to involve the education sector in a national integrated food policy: “to ensure basic food literacy and skills education is available in all schools in Australia, as well as being available via community-based education initiatives“. Teaching children about the many aspects of food could be, I believe,  a very fruitful strategy to prevent a significant increase in food related health, environmental and social problems in the near future. In that respect it would be interesting to learn from countries, states or cities that have adopted an integrated approach to food policy, including involvement of the education sector, in the (recent) past.