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Today, urban dwellers are removed from food production, which has widened the gulf between cities and rural areas. Convenience has led to an over-abundance of food, but it is not equitably distributed. Nor is it necessarily healthy. Cooking and eating collectively have also dwindled, and conspicuous consumption has become fashionable. Significant disruptions can make bringing food to cities challenging.
No change is free, and some can have unintended consequences, but our speakers offer some compelling solutions.
Schools must offer experiential education in regenerative, circular agriculture, so that from an early age we understand and appreciate the value of food, and how our choices matter.
Technology and data should be used to help make food systems more resource-efficient. There are solutions such as halophytic agriculture and biomimicry.
Policy has to be inclusive, so that we all have access to nutritious, tasty food. That means thinking about seeds, greenhouses, transport, waters, wet markets and supermarkets. Governments can learn from Paris and incentivise rooftop farming. They can encourage community gardens and biogesters, promote healthy diets and monitor non-communicable diseases. We look at the different approaches in cities as diverse as Ghent and Quito.
If you want to find out more about some of the amazing companies and organisations that the speakers mentioned in the podcast have a look at their websites:
Institutional video about the agrifood pact in Quito (PAQ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiG_bWOH0U8
Healthy food hubs project for Quito and Lima: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkuywdz4fiU&t=1s
Inside Ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wEAoaMsk_o
HENRY GORDON SMITH
Founder & CEO, Agritecture
Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues, and emerging technologies. Henry earned his BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, coursework in Food Security and Urban Agriculture from Ryerson University in Toronto, and an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. In 2014, Henry responded to a global need for technology-agnostic guidance on urban agriculture by launching Agritecture Consulting which has now advised on over 150 projects in over 35 countries.
EVP of Agriculture, Vidaluz Development
Alessandro has a BA in Business Administration with a Minor in International Business from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked as an arborist in Maryland, interned building earthships in New Mexico, worked in Colorado in the cannabis industry and founded Valley Fresh Micros, an indoor, vertical microgreens farm. He has now joined VidaLuz Development as the executive vice president of agriculture. Alessandro has travelled extensively throughout the world volunteering, working, and visiting unique agricultural operations. The exposure to diverse cultures, customs, cuisines, and traditions across 6 continents have molded Alessandro’s professional and personal aspirations.
Director, Latin America, Rikolto
Nataly Pinto-Alvaro holds a master’s degree in sustainable territorial development from the universities of Padova, Sorbonne and KU Leuven. She has been working in the field of development in rural and urban areas for 15 years. She enjoys learning by doing, creating networks, and starting synergies. Nataly leads the food systems program in Latin America, and she is part of the Food Smart Cities International cluster at Rikolto. The cluster works in 19 cities around the world to foster the exchange of good practices on sustainable production, inclusive business, and food governance. Nataly and his partner just started a regenerative agriculture farm in Ecuador called La Madriguera.
For this episode we will be supporting Nula Carbon by donating £100 for Every 100 Listeners which will allow :
80 mangrove trees to be planted from 4 species
4 community members to be trained to give mangrove awareness