Good Food Governance

A New Canteen Culture? Reimagining Public Eating for Sustenance, Socialising and Sustainability

Sustainable Food Places

Online, This is an online event

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This event will look back to historical precedents and ahead to the future of food to explore the benefits of reimagining public canteens in the UK.

The cost-of-living and climate change are combining to accelerate the crisis in food production and consumption in the UK. Alongside these pressing concerns, models of food service are also undergoing a transformation as calls for new ways of feeding people healthy, sustainable and sociable meals gathers pace and urgency.

Professor Evans’s latest book on the history of food in wartime Britain reveals the significance and scale of nation-wide communal dining schemes during this era. Welcomed by some as a symbol of a progressive future in which ‘wasteful’ home dining would disappear, and derided by others for threatening the social order, these sites of food and eating attracted great political and cultural debate.

In this seminar, this historical perspective is brought up to date through Ian’s progressive approach towards a local Right to Food, and his vocal support in Parliament around non-stigmatizing, public feeding programmes.

Together, Bryce and Ian propose a new canteen culture can feed people sustainably, at-scale: reviving the high street and showcasing government and corporate partnerships. The seminar closes with thoughts on what research, organisational and policy developments might facilitate this transformation.

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