The health and social benefits or urban food growing

In The value of urban agriculturepublished last year, there’s a list of projects for Birmingham researchers to get their teeth into. Here are three potential topics, among many:

  • Do infants who are engaged in food growing activities eat a wider range of foodstuffs, notably fruit and vegetables, than infants who don’t?
  • Is the development of an urban child’s healthy immune system related to his/her regular contact with soil as an infant and/or in later childhood?
  • Do participants in community food growing initiatives have more or fewer social relationships beyond their ward?

Other topics to investigate that will inform research and/or provide useful support for socio-political decision-making in the city range from a mapping project to show green spaces, allotments and community food groups (see BOSF for a brilliant starter-for-ten) to advisory services on what crops can be safely grown on our varying types of soils, either for eating or to decontaminate the land — we have the expertise locally with the Warwick Crop Centre and Harper Adams University College both nearby.

You can read the whole thing in The value of urban agriculturePart Three of the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Report. The list of research topics and opportunities is on pages 41-42.

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The Birmingham Food Council is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales number 8931789