|TAMURA Norie||RIHN Senior Project Researcher|
|Researchers at RIHN|
|RUPPRECHT, Christoph D. D.||Senior Researcher|
|MATSUOKA Yuko||Research Associate|
|KOBAYASHI Yuko||Research Associate|
|TSUCHIYA Kazuaki||The University of Tokyo|
|HARA Yuji||Wakayama University|
|AKITSU Motoki||Kyoto University|
|TACHIKAWA Masashi||Nagoya University|
|TANIGUCHI Yoshimitsu||Akira Prefectural University|
|NAKAMURA Mari||Nagoya Bunri University|
|TANAKA Keiko||University of Kentucky, USA|
|SUDO Shigeto||National Agriculture and Food Research Organization|
|SHIBATA Akira||Ritsumeikan University|
|KISHIMOTO-MO Ayaka||National Agriculture and Food Research Organization|
|INABA Atsushi||Kogakuin University|
Agrifood systems in Asia face a myriad of sustainability challenges related to declining environmental health (GHG emissions, resource overuse, pollution, soil fertility), loss of diversity (biological, cultural, knowledge), and deterioration of small-scale farming due to globalizing market forces. At points of consumption, over-reliance on globalized food flows limits consumer agency and decreases food security and sovereignty. Diets increasingly composed of processed foods also negatively impact public health (rise in diabetes, obesity). The ways in which food is provided, consumed and governed need urgent change, but we lack understanding of how agrifood transitions emerge and take root, or of the role of existing and alternative institutions and policy, social practices, future visions, and economic arrangements, in advancing sustainable transitions.▲PAGE TOP
The FEAST project takes a transdisciplinary approach to explicate the reality of, and potential for, sustainable agrifood transition in Asia. Individual field sites are located in Japan, Thailand, Bhutan, and China. Taking a lifeworld perspective, we analyze patterns of food consumption, the socio-cultural significance of food-practices, and the potential of consumer-based agency to change deeply held cultural notions and regional food systems. We also develop structural descriptions of the food system, by mapping national, regional, and local production, distribution, and consumption contexts. In combining socio-cultural and structural descriptions of the relationships between production and consumption, we are able to conduct visioning workshops with stakeholders and initiate food citizenship-oriented experiments and actions.
FEAST’s process of co-design and co-production of sustainable food systems seeks to challenge mainstream economic thinking on consumption and growth. In engaging the public in structured debate of societal relationships with food and nature, our project reorients consumers to consider themselves as citizens and co-producers of the foodscapes on which they depend. FEAST seeks knowledge and mechanisms that can redefine the notion of long-term food security.
FEAST Working Groups will produce four types of knowledge relevant to catalyzing agrifood transitions (Figure 1). These are: 1) contextual knowledge of contemporary national, regional, and local food systems (production, distribution, and consumption); 2) co-produced visions of alternative food consumption and production practices and corresponding municipal-level transition plans identifying research, education, and policy needs; 3) modeling- and scenario-based knowledge supporting deliberation and planning processes; and 4) knowledge of two intervention strategies: the social learning dynamics affecting execution and effectiveness of workshop-based consensus-building for collective food action; and the significance of new methods of market transparency (e.g. eco-labels, food impact smartphone apps) in food system change.▲PAGE TOP
Over the past year, FEAST has made progress on a number of areas of research.
The Ecological Footprint of Japan’s food consumption by sector and COICOP category was analyzed, revealing that importation of animal feed and ingredients processed into ready-to-eat meals sold at convenience store and supermarkets are the most impactful.
Satellite imagery was used to map both formal and informal urban agricultural land use change in Kyoto City. The research found that Kyoto City has lost about 10% of its agricultural productive land (from 1897 ha in 2007 to 1696 ha in 2017) in the last 10 years to housing development (40% post-ag. use) and abandonment (28% post-ag. use), even though it is a shrinking city. (Photo 1)
A comprehensive, multi-method survey of consumer eating habits and orientations to food including a web survey (n=1300) for Kyoto City, Nagano City, and Noshiro City (Akita) was conducted, as well as focus group interviews and photograph records of consumed foods for Kameoka City. Statistical analysis showed a variety of consumer types based on diet diversity and rice acquirement.
Multi-method workshops to envision ideal meals and food systems were held in Kyoto City (visioning, backcasting, and role-playing) and Kameoka City (visioning) with local food-related actors and government officials. Over fifty participants joined altogether. The visions and backcasting results will be included into future scenario modelling next year. (Photo 2)
Focus-group workshops on the future of food-related practices—purchasing, home cooking, and eating out—with “green”, “general”, and “innovative” consumer groups were conducted in Bangkok. Found that each group had very different ideas about desirable futures for each practice and that consensus building is needed to form concrete policy recommendations.
Municipal agricultural policies and policy plans in Akita, Nagano, and Kyoto were surveyed to gauge policy orientation toward agroecological principles and a “food as a commons” perspective. An intensive analysis of 14 plans found a significant disconnect in municipal and national government policy orientation.
FEAST has finalized research partnerships with Noshiro City, Akita, Kameoka City, Kyoto, Royal University of Bhutan, Mahidol University in Bangkok, and the Eco-Environmental Protection Research Institute, part of the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences.