In Our Response to the draft London Food Strategy, we didn’t use the words “sustainability” or “resilience”. And this blogpost is an explanation as to why.
- Both words sound technical enough to be The Answer.
A comparator: When Jon, the car mechanic who’s been looking after my various cars over the last 25 years tells me I need ‘a new drive belt next service’, my thinking is that all’s well. Doesn’t affect me now, won’t in the future, don’t have to think about it.
Experts, the guys at Global Food Security, Chatham House or Rothamstead Research are the ‘Jons’ of the food security world and have got the matter, as my drive belt, in hand . . . But no, they haven’t.
- Their use is often contextualised in unhelpful ways:
For example: Mark Pettigrew is PepsiCo’s Agricultural Sustainability Manager, a title that sounds just dandy. But the scientifically interesting research programmes he’s set up in British universities are to ‘sustain’ PepsiCo’s supply chain of agri-products to manufacture products that cost society and the planet a lot. (see this blogpost: Spuds or crisps? Which is better for you, & better for global food security?
- Hence our use of the the word ‘keep‘ food supplies going
As we say in Endnote 1: The simple word ‘keep‘ implies both sustainability and resilience. A simple, short, everyday verb (aka ‘a doing word’ in junior school-speak) so giving a better chance for Sadiq Khan and his colleagues imagining elements in the real world that he can change.