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

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

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 – …

COVID-19 Impact Survey on Farmers (GE)

FEAST HQ WG3

The spread of COVID-19 has led to the government declaration of a state of emergency and request to refrain from travelling between urban and rural areas, largely disrupting our daily life across the world. The impact of the pandemic has been found not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas, including on agriculture. However, only large-scale agricultural businesses and farmer cooperatives have so far drawn media attention. We at FEAST Project have conducted an online survey to grasp and understand the current situation that small-scale farmers, new entry farmers, organic and environment conservation farmers face in Japan, Italy, Taiwan and Uruguay through this survey and share the results with …

COVID-19 Impact Survey on Farmers (UR)

FEAST HQ WG3

The spread of COVID-19 has led to the government declaration of a state of emergency and request to refrain from travelling between urban and rural areas, largely disrupting our daily life across the world. The impact of the pandemic has been found not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas, including on agriculture. However, only large-scale agricultural businesses and farmer cooperatives have so far drawn media attention. We at FEAST Project have conducted an online survey to grasp and understand the current situation that small-scale farmers, new entry farmers, organic and environment conservation farmers face in Japan, Italy and Taiwan through this survey and share the results with the …

Worlds apart—Japan’s urban and rural experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader & Norie Tamura, Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ WG3

For the most part, Japan has been hailed as a COVID-19 success story, although the reasons for the success have been difficult to explain. Despite a severe lack of public testing, Tokyo (the epicenter of the outbreak) saw an increase of only 12% in mortality rate during the height of known infections in April1, the fewest of any Group of Seven nation. A number of theories have emerged as to why this may be (cultural familiarity with social distancing and mask-wearing, healthier elderly population), but it may be some time before a conclusion is reached. Whatever the reasons, the pandemic did bring massive change to everyday life. The entire nation was …

COVID-19 Impact Survey on Farmers (TW)

FEAST HQ WG3

The spread of COVID-19 has led to the government declaration of a state of emergency and request to refrain from travelling between urban and rural areas, largely disrupting our daily life across the world. The impact of the pandemic has been found not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas, including on agriculture. However, only large-scale agricultural businesses and farmer cooperatives have so far drawn media attention. We at FEAST Project have conducted an online survey to grasp and understand the current situation that small-scale farmers, new entry farmers, organic and environment conservation farmers face in Japan and Italy through this survey and share the results with the …

COVID-19 Impact Survey on Farmers (JP, IT)

FEAST HQ WG3

The spread of COVID-19 has led to the government declaration of a state of emergency and request to refrain from travelling between urban and rural areas, largely disrupting our daily life across the world as well as in Japan. The impact of the pandemic has been found not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas, including on agriculture. However, only large-scale agricultural businesses and farmer cooperatives have so far drawn media attention. We at FEAST Project would like to conduct an online survey to grasp and understand the current situation that small-scale farmers, new entry farmers, organic and environment conservation farmers face in Japan through this survey and share …

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 …

Kameoka Nou Marché (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Events, From the Field, WG2, WG3

On Nov 3rd, “Kameoka Nou Marché” (Nou stands for agriculture) was organized by the Executive Committee for “Making Kameoka an Organic Town” at KIRI CAFÉ in Kameoka City, Kyoto Pref. with the City of Kameoka, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), RIHN and Akitsu Labo of Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University as the supporters. This all started with WG2 Seminar “Making Kameoka an Organic Town!” on Nov 19th, 2018 which brought together some members from the FEAST Project, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, KOA as well as local farmers, chefs among many others. It led to organizing of this committee, adding some more of …

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 …

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 …

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 …

FEAST Project at the World Social Science Forum 2018! (Steven R. McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, HQ News, WG1, WG2, WG3

From September 25th to 28th, many of us from FEAST HQ attended the World Social Science Forum 2018 in Fukuoka, held at the Fukuoka International Congress Center. Since RIHN was one of the consortium partners for the Forum, it was important for the institute to have a significant presence at the event. It was also a time to show the potential of the new research programs for integrated, cross-cutting discussions of relevant themes and concepts. We were surprised to learn that all three FEAST session proposals and the Program 3 session proposal were accepted. Indeed, RIHN’s fingerprints were all over the Forum program, with nearly 10 sessions in total. When …

A short film "First Harvest" documenting Kyoto University of Arts and Design Beekeeping Club is now released!

FEAST HQ From the Field, WG3

A short firm “First Harvest” is now ready for viewing, which Rika Shinkai of the FEAST Mitsubachi Team interviewed a beekeeping club at Kyoto University of Art & Design with Dr. Martin Gruber, a visual anthropologist at the University of Bremen. <First Harvest> The film ‘First Harvest’ introduces some of the Kyoto University of Arts and Design Beekeeping Club’s activities. Under the guidance of their teacher a number of students come together regularly to keep a colony of Japanese Honeybees on the premises of their University. The film juxtaposes interview material and observational footage of the students’ first honey harvest. ‘First Harvest’ deals with beekeeping practice and the acquisition of …

FEAST at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2018 in New Orleans (Christoph Rupprecht, Project Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG1, WG2, WG3

After our five sessions on food system transitions at the AAG 2017, another team of FEAST and friends of the project made their way to the AAG Annual Meeting 2018 in New Orleans. The chance to meet, listen to and present to 9,000 researchers from a variety of fields is an experience that we didn’t want to miss! Mapping urban food production Localizing food systems is one way to bring sites of production and consumption back together again. From urban agriculture and gardening to local food systems of bread, the two sessions (Mapping Urban Production I, II) provided a chance to hear about stories from Kyoto, Manila, Detroit, Calgary, the …

Kyoto Organic Action: impressions of the project after the "Peasants’ revolution" gathering (Guilherme Raj, Wageningen University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

“Kyoto Organic Action” (KOA) was created in the beginning of 2017 during a gathering of organic producers in the Nantan area, northwest of Kyoto City. Kentaro Suzuki, owner of the “369 local & organic yaoya” veggie delivery company, organized the event aiming to boost the dynamics and interactions between farmers, distributors and vendors – something that he didn’t see happening when he moved in to Nantan. During the event, the idea of sharing the transportation costs and logistic system of organic products with buyers in Kyoto City led to what is, today, called “Kyoto Organic Action” (KOA): an organization aimed to decrease the distribution costs of agriculture goods produced by …

Kyoto Kodawari Marché 29: “Kodomo-Shokudo x Organic: Creating ‘Good’ Food Together” (Fumi Iwashima, Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, WG2, WG3

The 29th of Kyoto Kodawari Marché was held at Kyoto Prefectural Office on the 10th of June and FEAST Project organized an event there entitled “Kodomo-Shokudo x Organic: Creating ‘Good’ Food Together” together with the Working Committee for Council for Future of Food and Agriculture, Kyoto. As one out of six children in Japan now lives in poverty and more and more children are eating alone, citizen and volunteer groups are reacting by creating kodomo-shokudo (children’s cafeteria or canteens), places where children are able to eat for free or a very reduced price together with someone within their own community. In Kyoto, there are several kodomo-shokudos including our collaborators for …

Witnessing the birth of a new concept “Community Supported Trade” (Mai Kobayashi and Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researchers)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

We spent the weekend of March 3rd and 4th at the 『百姓一喜』(Hyakusho-ikki). The title for this event can be translated as the peasant revolution, but they used the character for “happiness(喜)”, rather than “riot(揆),” which had the same pronunciation. It was a second gathering of its kind that took place in Nantan, Kyoto. The event by the same name that took place one year ago was what created the group that calls itself Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), the core members of this group was the organizers for this event. Having decided relatively late to join the event, we are grateful for the organizer for taking us in, despite there being …

Model, Prizes, and Leaf litter: Challenges of personality rights (Mai Kobayashi, FEAST Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

I’d helped him with a reference letter for a scholarship for his studies at the College of Natural Resources (CNR). Sonam Phuntsho was a student of one of our research collaborators at the college. We soon found out that he had received the scholarship and since then, we had kept in touch over facebook messenger. It was one regular work day when Sonam sent me a photograph. It was a lady carrying a pile of leaves to use as bedding for her cattle. I had written a paper on the practice of using a plot of forest for this practice called Sokshing, and he thought I would be interested. It …

Forum “Towards the future of organic farming: Thinking about good life and society with young farmers” (Yuko Kobayashi, Project Research Associate)

FEAST HQ Report, WG2, WG3

Forum “Towards the future of organic farming: Thinking about good life and society with young farmers” was organized by NPO Tsukaisutejidai wo Kangaerukai (The Association for Ethical Waste & Disposal Awareness) and its associated organization, Anzen Nousan Kyokyu Center (Center for safe agricultural products) at Coop-in Kyoto on February 18th, and FEAST Project was invited to conduct visioning and gaming workshops as a part of the forum. A total of 70 people joined this event, which made the event very lively with enthusiastic discussions and kids’ chuckles and laughs. FEAST Project has been organizing a number of workshops to explore better futures of agriculture and food, employing various methods such as …