"When the surfing’s good, I don’t go gardening.” Tensions and contradictions between radical and recreational approaches to Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) (14187)
In August 2013, the 2nd Dunedin Local Food Forum brought local food enthusiasts and activists, home and community gardeners and small to medium commercial growers, food distributors, academics and welfare agencies together to discuss the challenges and opportunities in working together to further support the local food system. One of the key outcomes of the forum was the stated need to bring the diversity of local food activities together as a more powerful force for food system transformation. That led to the development of Our Food Network Dunedin - a loosely knit organization of individuals and organizations that share a goal of stimulating the production, distribution and consumption of local food and in that way contributes to the building of a resilient and prosperous community. Using Our Food Network as a case study, this research seeks to explore the challenges, opportunities, tensions and contradictions inherent in an emerging alternative food network in the context of a national economy closely tied to productivist agriculture. Drawing on responses to a local food survey, the research examines the conflicting views, values and approaches of individuals committed to local food initiatives to highlight the difficulties in navigating the divide between radical and recreational approaches to alternative food networks and also to identify the opportunities that result from using food as a lens to address a range of urban issues.