NPO Senior Shizen Daigakkou based in Osaka promotes environmental education and sociocultural activities. As a part of these activities, Professor Emeritus Masaru Tanaka at Kyoto University coordinates a lecture series of “Shizengaku (nature studies)” regarding the global environment. The 9th of its series in 2017 was held on August 26th at which Norie Tamura, WG3 Chair, gave a lecture entitled “Shoku wo meguru shohi to seisan no arubeki sugata (how food consumption and production should be)”. As many as 164 pax, mainly the members of NPO, participated this time.
The lecture started off with what kind of environmental impacts are caused by food production, distribution and consumption, how the current agrifood system is like, and that the food and agricultural issues are not only related to the environment, but also to various aspects such as nutrition, hunger, food waste, diet pattern, labor issue and ethics (animal welfare). Tamura introduced the problems that the current agrifood system faces by looking at the environmental impact indicators including ecological footprint and self-sufficiency level for food, and also the concepts such as transition and degrowth that support shift towards better food and food production. She also inducted various tangible approaches related to: (1) distribution (eco-labeling, Teikei, Community-supported agriculture, food bank etc), (2) community activities/development (food policy council, children’s canteen etc), (3) vision for food production (agroecology, GIAHS etc), also (4) food sovereignty that has been a topic of international discussion and (5) Japanese cases (hannou hanX (half agriculture, half X), Community-Reactivating Cooperator Squad, etc). In conclusion, she talked about “civil food network” originated in the Netherlands and emphasized the importance of bottom-up approach in which the citizens make proactive efforts in relation to food to promote transition. As the first step, she requested the participants to think how an ideal meal should look like so that they would have an idea on what they should work towards.