Knowledge for better food systems

Book: Everyday experts: how people’s knowledge can transform the food system

This free book, published by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University and edited by the People’s Knowledge Editorial Collective, explores the ways in which the knowledge of people directly involved in the food supply chain can help in transforming the food system.

Publisher’s summary

Everyday Experts explains how knowledge built up through first-hand experience can help solve the crisis in the food system. It brings together fifty-seven activists, farmers, practitioners, researchers and community organisers from around the world in 28 original chapters to take a critical look at attempts to improve the dialogue between people whose knowledge has been marginalised in the past and others who are recognised as professional experts.

Using a combination of stories, poems, photos and videos, the contributors demonstrate how people’s knowledge can transform the food system towards greater social and environmental justice. Many of the chapters also explore the challenges of using action and participatory approaches to research.

“This is a recipe book for change. It is an amazing cornucopia of knowledge that is held, produced and passed on by experts of experience, diverse global communities and stewards of traditions. It is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand our food cultures and food system from different lenses. It is also a call to action for those seeking to change the global food system.”

- Dee Woods, Co-Founder and Coordinator of Granville Community Kitchen and food advisor to the Mayor of London, UK.



The People’s Knowledge Editorial Collective: Anderson, C., Buchanan, C., Chang, M., Rodriguez, J.S. and Wakeford, T. (eds.) (2017). Everyday experts: how people’s knowledge can transform the food system. Reclaiming Diversity and Citizenship Series. Coventry: Coventry University.

Read more here and download the book here, free of charge. See also the Foodsource chapter Overview of food system challenges.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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