Online article about the 15th RIHN International Symposium

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report

The FEAST Project played an integral role in RIHN’s 15th International Symposium “Transitioning Cultures of Everyday Food Consumption and Production: Stories from a Post-growth Future” which was held online from January 13 to 16, 2021. Rajat Chaudhuri, a fiction writer/activist and a presenter of “Pahom and the Everlasting Plate-Stories as Bearers of Alternative Food Visions” at the symposium, captures some of the discussion that emerged in his new article “An everlasting plate” in New Indian Express. Read the full article from this link.

The 4th Asia Pacific Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics Conference 2020 (Kazuhiko Ota, RIHN Assistant Professor)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report

The 4th Asia Pacific Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics Conference 2020 (APSAFE2020) was held for two weeks from December 3-16, 2020 with the theme of “Supporting Sustainable Food Systems: Quality Food and Ethical Consumption”. It was our first time to organize online conference, but the format allowed to attract 150 participants from 21 countries, and it ended with a great success. APSAFE2020 was initially planned to be part of the International Conference on Applied Ethics (ICAE) scheduled to be held at Hiroshima University in December. Unfortunately, however, the spread of COVID-19 led our decision to hold an online conference. The following are the three main objectives. 1) To create …

How we started serving the School Lunches of the Future (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG6, WG6_Publications

The Openhouse takes place every year in the summer (this year online 15th & 22nd Nov.) and each project of the institute has to come up with a unique activity around their research theme. Taking place in the middle of the summer vacations the four hour event draws about 800 junior- and middle-school kids with their parents or grandparents in tow to do some fun activity while practically adding to the mandatory school summer break science assignment (Yes, in Japan kids get homework over the summer vacations). In the last years the FEAST project had among several other activities asked the visitors what they consider is bad and what is …

Italian alternative farmers and the covid-19 pandemic: Voices from the lockdown (Simona Zollet, PhD Candidate, Hiroshima University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

As part of the multi-country research project on small-scale and alternative farmers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic coordinated by FEAST, we carried out a questionnaire survey of Italian farmers. Italy was one of the first countries to be severely affected by the pandemic, and the lockdown (in effect between March 9 and May 18) saw nationwide closures of all non-essential businesses and services, and drastically reduced mobility for most citizens. As most of the early information on the impacts of the lockdown on the farming sector concerned large-scale conventional farmers and food processors, this survey was designed to capture the voice of those farmers – mainly small-scale and alternative producers – …

Working towards post-COVID Sustainable Transitions (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report, Seminar & Workshop

FEAST has been busy during the COVID-19 Pandemic on a variety of research initiatives and events. Some highlights include:-Organizing and managing multiple working groups as part of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (FE SSCP KAN) effort on post-COVID Sustainable Transitions. This included: -“Open Forum: COVID-19 Can Help Wealthier Nations Prepare for a Sustainability Transition” (over 300 participants) and virtual “Mini-Conference on COVID-19 and Sustainability Transitions” (over 300 participants). -Multiple online surveys on COVID’s impact on small-scale farmers in Japan, Italy, UK, US, Taiwan, and Latin America and coastal fisheries in Japan. -Joining an international alliance of Degrowth experts in drafting an open letter to offer five principles for …

The 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” (Ryo Iwahashi, Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Monday, February 17th, the 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” – Special Lecture and Meeting – was organized at Galleria Kameoka, Kyoto. We have been working together with the food and agriculture-related stakeholders and actors in Kameoka, organizing various meetings and events, one of which was the 1st Seminar“Making Kameoka an organic town”. It inspired us to organize Kameoka Nou Marche in November 2019 and then seminar. The first part of this event was dedicated to a special lecture by Mr. Nobuyuki Motoyama, Manager of the Biostyle Co., Ltd. entitled “Emerging challenges of organic produce distribution: To build a good society with food”. He introduced the efforts and …

The website “Archives of Japanese Honeybee Beekeeping” launched (Rika Shinkai, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Achievements, Report, WG3

We have recently launched a website “Archives of Japanese Honeybee Beekeeping” to introduce the history and culture of Japanese honeybee beekeeping. As many of you may know, there are two types of honeybees in Japan – native Japanese honeybees (Apis cerana japonica) and Western honeybees (Apis mellifera), which were brought to Japan in the Meiji era. And, most of the honeys on the market today are of the latter. The beekeeping of Japanese honeybees started in mountainous areas at the latest in the Edo period, and honey was then distributed and consumed for medicinal purposes. When kneading pills, for example, honey was a necessary ingredient. In “Hachimitsu Ichiran (Overview of …

A taste of urban food futures in Bangkok (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

Right before the end of 2019, I made my way to Thailand for a short trip to oversee a workshop and reconnect with colleagues. Thailand is a fantastic place to visit for work or pleasure—the food is amazing, the people are incredibly nice, and I always encounter something surprising. Two things struck me during my time in Bangkok: 1) the diversity of ecological food labels and designations and 2) the ubiquitous food delivery scene. Food transparency in Thailand is much more developed than what we see on the shelves in Japan. On a trip through a supermarket one evening, the vegetable section was shocking. There were four different production designations: …

Working Group for FPC Kyoto: Meeting on food mapping in Kyoto (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

The working group of the Food Policy Council Kyoto has continued to shine a light at yet another food related dimension in Kyoto. After last meeting’s focus on Urban Agriculture with presentations by Kimisato Oda and Christoph Rupprecht (both FEAST), this time attention was given to the role that maps can play. For this working group meeting on Oct 2nd, three speakers from Kyoto introduced three different kinds of maps they are working on. The discussions evolved around common challenges and benefits, the possible users of the different maps, as well as the ways to gather the necessary data. Kentaro Suzuki and the members of Kyoto Organic Action (KOA) intend …

Apimondia & COLOSS (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG3

From 6th till 12th September FEAST researcher Max Spiegelberg attended the 15th COLOSS Conference along a record 154 participants, and back-to-back the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress with the theme “Beekeeping within Agriculture” in Montreal/Canada. COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee Colony LOSSes) is a honeybee focused research network which aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses with 1,275 members from 95 countries and started out from Europe already 14 years ago. The Apimondia International Apicultural Congress is a global, biennial conference by Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations bringing together this time 6,000 researchers, beekeepers, extension officers, and traders from around the world. During the COLOSS …

Digital Foodscapes Workshop (Christine Barnes, RIHN Visiting Research Fellow and Mai Kobayashi, FEAST Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Saturday 24th August, Mai Kobayashi, Visiting Research Fellow Christine Barnes (King’s College London), and other FEAST members held a Digital Foodscapes Workshop ’“Food” that we “Cook” “Share” and “Eat”: Exploring our digital foodscape’ in Mumoteki, Kyoto. The workshop was part of the work that Christine has been doing over the summer exploring the representation and mediation of Japanese food culture on Instagram. Bringing together a group of people to share some of the initial findings of the project and discuss their perspectives on food and social media was a really useful way to test the ideas in the research. During her visit at FEAST Christine has been researching “food …

JACAP Summer School “Linking Foodscapes: Three Days to Explore Food and Agriculture” (Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

Summer School of Japan Association for the Contemporary and Applied Philosophy (hereafter JACAP) “Linking Foodscapes: Three Days to Explore Food and Agriculture” was held at RIHN from September 15th to 17th, 2019. This is the annual event of JACAP which has covered a wide range of topics such as fashion, mathematics, environmental pollution problems, space exploration, business ethics among many others. Prof. Nobutsugu Kanzaki of Nanzan University and I organized this year’s summer school with the theme of “Food and Agriculture”. “Foodscapes” as in the event title refers to a place and/or space where we can find a meaning in the act of eating and food itself through purchasing food, …

Visiting the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

From Aug 25th to 27th, I had an opportunity to visit Nagano Prefecture, one of the FEAST Project’s research fields, together with other members of WG2. During our visit, we joined the regular meeting of the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (NAGANO Nou to Shoku no Kai) and met up with some of its key persons for interview. The Nagano Agriculture and Food Association was co-founded in 2013 by two organic farmers and another local who is in involved in sales and processing of local, organic and traditional vegetables. The members get together at a community center in Matsushiro Town, Nagano City for a monthly meeting. Our participation in the …

FEAST at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 in Washington, DC (Christoph Rupprecht, Project Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report

After our five sessions on food system transitions at the AAG 2017, and our sessions on “Mapping urban food production” and  “The other food system(s)” at the AAG 2018, visiting and presenting at the AAG has now become a bit of a tradition for FEAST. So, in 2019 another team of FEAST and friends went to Washington DC to meet, listen to and present to thousands of researchers from all around the world – this year without any organized sessions. Mai Kobayashi joined a session on Cultural Landscapes, where her presentation “Meat in a post-development world: insights from Bhutan” discussed the changing landscape of food choices and access in Bhutan, …

Talk about Anthropocene and Transition Town at the Kagoshima University Symposium (Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG2

An industry-academia-government collaborative symposium “Think about how to live the future of Kagoshima – the ecological theory in the Anthropocene –” (English title is not official) was held at Korimoto Campus of Kagoshima University on July 6th, 2019 where I was given an opportunity to introduce about Anthropocene and Transition Town. The participants included the students from the Faculty of Law at Kagoshima University and many citizens who were interested in the topic. You might have already heard of or seen the term “Anthropocene” as in the sub-title of the symposium somewhere, maybe at some events of RIHN. It refers to a geological epoch – the environmental transformation caused by …

International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture in Nagano: Transitioning to Agroecology (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Events, Report, WG2, WG3

I have been working closely with members of the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (NAGANO農と食の会) and Food Policy Council Obuse (OBUSE食と農の未来会議) for almost a year now, discussing ways to envision sustainable food futures and enact food policy toward their realization. One refreshing aspect of working with these groups is that the concept of agroecology widely understood and the need to enact agroecological food systems is a given. However, even though Nagano Prefecture is one of the leading agricultural prefectures in Japan, organic agriculture and agroecology are not widely practiced or recognized. When we learned of the possibility of bringing Miguel Altieri and Clara Nicholls (University of California-Berkeley) to Nagano to …

BitSummit Game Jam 2019 at RIHN! (Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop

Two-day long BitSummit Game Jam 2019 was held at RIHN on May 11th and 12th in collaboration with Skelton Crew Studio Co., Ltd, a game development company based in Kyoto. “Game Jam” is an event where participants are grouped into different teams on the spot to develop a game within a limited timeframe. About 50 students who are currently studying game creation in and around Kyoto joined this event, and spent 17hrs plus (some stayed up overnight) making a total of eight digital games with the theme of “konzen ittai (to form a complete whole)”. This was the second game jam event held at RIHN, but the first to develop …

Envisioning ideal future school lunches (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, Seminar & Workshop

On March 24th, 2019 a group of around 50 people of all ages gathered in Obuse Town, Nagano Pref., to envision the ideal school lunch thirty years in the future. The event represented one of the first steps for a new civic food network, the Obuse Food Policy Council (Shoku to Nou no Mirai Kaigi), to develop food policy together. FEAST has been working in Northern Nagano Prefecture for some time and partnered with Obuse Food Policy Council in the development of the event. FEAST also partnered with  the NAGANO Nou to Shoku no Kai NPO (NAGANO農と食の会), the Seikatsu Club Obuse Branch (生活クラブ小布施支部), and the Food Literacy and Experiential Education …

Discussing policies for the Kyoto bee-scape at the 38 Café (Maximilian Spiegelberg & Rika Shinkai, Project Researchers & Christoph Rupprecht, Senior Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG3

On February 27th, we invited the bee-stakeholders of Kyoto to the event 38 Café (Mitsubachi Café) “Let’s make a bee-friendly Kyoto City”. Bee-stakeholders are not just beekeepers taking directly care of honeybees, but include all the people affected directly or indirectly by the existence of bees. That can be the farmer needing pollination, or the bird lover interested in a healthy habitat, the city officer called-up regularly by citizens to remove beehives or the educator teaching about food or the environment. The goal of the workshop was to have this diverse group of actors exchange over possible bee-supporting policies and activities in Kyoto and ideally building a more coherent and …

School lunch session of Japan Organic Agriculture Association (Fumi Iwashima, Doshisha University/then-Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On February 23rd, the General Meeting of Japan Organic Agriculture Association was held at Ayaha Lakeside Hotel in Shiga Prefecture, at which Prof. Motoki Akitsu from Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, FEAST WG2 Chair, and I organized a session “Making school lunch organic” in the afternoon. To our great surprise, more than 30 people joined, which exceeded the fixed number and contributed to a lively session. The session started off with a presentation by Prof. Akitsu, “Starting a food reform from school lunch”. He brought up a broader meaning that school lunch casts on the society, more than just a meal for children that shall be safe and delicious. …