I had a great conversation with my Grandad the other day. He’s 93 and fairly vocal about how bonkers he thinks I am so it’s often humorous, but this time I could tell him I was doing a triathlon – and he also gave me the opportunity to TOTALLY NAIL my answer to “So what’s food sovereignty then?”
I wish I’d recorded it, because now I’ve forgotten what I said. But hey – my Grandad knows!
It’s sort of why I decided to do a triathlon. So that people would ask me. Yup, I wanted to be fitter… And a triathlon sounds like pretty spectacular motivation. But getting people talking and funding some practical action seemed a good idea too. And as well as the arms trade and CAAT,. which I’ve already written about, I reckon that practical action and chat should be about FOOD. The thing we all have in common.
So it was decided: Clacton Sprint. 750m swim, 16k bike ride, 5k run. 7th September. Raaaaar!
It’s happening tomorrow. And it turns out: a triathlon IS pretty spectacular. And… it seems I DID lack the motivation to get properly fit. So… I’m still the same me that told everyone I was going to do it 6 months ago. Eeek. But hey, people are asking me about food sovereignty. And that’s cool!!
So what did I tell my Grandad? It’s about us having control over our food and the means to produce it. And by ‘us’ I mean me, buying from someone else, and I mean my friend who farms sheep up in Cumbria, and I mean small farmers globally who produce the majority of the world’s food on medium or small scales. It’s about challenging the idea that we need manufactured seed to feed the world. It’s about asserting that access to food is actually the bigger problem – not how much we produce.
There is a growing movement of organisations and producers building links with other producers globally, gathering evidence of the success of sustainable food systems, and generally getting the word out. Having been involved in small veg projects I know how they are make-or-break for smaller scale farmers, and how much their support matters, but also how small these stories can be in amongst the media flurry of ‘feed the world’ and ‘convenience’. My silly jaunt this weekend is one way I can support some of this work, and I’d love you to support it too. What I raise is nothing compared to the quantities food speculators are gambling around with but every penny will be spent wisely! Or you could find a local veg/fruit scheme that connects you to your produce, or find out a bit more out about food sovereignty and share it with someone else. That would be great.
And in return I’ll run/cycle/swim myself silly.
Thanks for reading! Spread the word!