1 Feb 2007
Vandana Shiva on Food Relocalisation
**Vandana Shiva** is the most extraordinary speaker on environmental issues I have ever heard. Period. It was entirely appropriate that she should deliver the keynote lecture on Taking The Oil Out of Our Food which she did very powerfully and is essential listening. You can now hear the podcast at the Soil Association website. During a previous panel discussion, I asked her the question “there are now communities around the UK looking at how to relocalise their food systems in response to peak oil, but they are working against the cultural trends and the direction most see as logical. Do you have any advice for such groups?”. Here is a direct transcript of her reply;
>Ultimately any of these changes, whether it’s a question of re-ruralisation or bringing agriculture into towns where the towns have been assumed to be merely consumer and never producers of food, every one of these changes is, at the ultimate level, a cultural and ethical shift. We need every bit of a cultural rejuvenation and a cultural revolution as well as an ethical revolution. The moment we have this, the rest works very easily and very quickly, because what is holding us back but false ideas of what it is to be civilised, what it is to be developed, what it is to be advanced. All kinds of adjectives that are forcing us to carry the non-sustainability burden to prove we are more human in the process of doing it.
>I think what we need for a One Planet Agriculture is to celebrate another humanity beyond oil. That’s a cultural shift. Why is Slow Food so powerful as a movement? Because they turn the celebration of quality food into a cultural revolution. We need to do the same with localisation of food systems, we need to do the same with reruralisation, we need to do every one of these things exactly how the fossil fuel people did it.
>”What’s the next step? – Give up your bullock cart…”, in India that’s how they did it. “The Bullock Cart Age” they call it. “The Automobile Age”, it’s called. The Automobile Age is 100,000 people being knocked down on our roads! Farmland being eaten up by highways. There is not enough land in India to live like America anyway. So, for us, the whole issue is to celebrate resource prudence and simplicity as human intelligence.