Health and Wellbeing

Kitchen Table Talks

Making our food system work for people and the planet

What is Kitchen Table Talks?

We are working with groups across the borough to build a vision for:

• how we can improve our food system

• how we can work collectively to create a better food system for us all.

Your input is a crucial part of developing this vision.

What is the problem with the food system?

We have plenty of land in our borough, as well as plenty of sea, skilled people, scientists and innovators. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have plenty of good food for everyone!

Yet the reality is our food system is not working. Food banks are on the rise, as well as diet-related diseases, while workers in the food sector - including many farmers - are poorly paid with insecure jobs.

Intensive farming systems compromise wildlife and animal welfare and contribute to climate change.

Is there a solution?

Solutions are often framed in terms of individual behaviour: people should choose organic food, eat less meat, more vegetables, less sugar etc.

While it’s true that we do need to change our eating habits, these habits have formed as a result of the food system around us.

We have made it easy to throw away food, eat an unhealthy, environmentally damaging diet, and hard for people to eat well.

Until recently the food system has mostly been dealt with in small parts, with no overarching vision at the local or countrywide levels, and there have been few opportunities for people to participate in making big decisions about how the food system works.

We’re working to help change that and build a vision for turning MEA into a sustainable food place.

How can you get involved?

As we gear up for an exciting year, we would love to hear:

• your ideas for what a Sustainable Food Place looks like for you

• what issues affect you the most

• what bothers you about how our food system works

• where you’d like to see change, and

• what you think individuals, farmers, communities and the government should do about it

To fill out our survey online, please click here.

For more information, contact: alison.diver@midandeastantrim.gov.uk