‘Food, Freedom, Community’ by Isa Pearl Ritchie

Food, Freedom, Community

Food, Freedom, Community

Food isn’t just what we eat, it connects us to our family, our community and the world around us.

We live in a challenging time in history, facing unprecedented global crises. Local food initiatives by small farmers, community workers, and activists offer solutions to many of these large complex problems.

Solutions at the local level can give us personal and community agency, connecting us with one another and inspiring new ways of thinking, sharing and creating value.

This book focuses on alternative food networks, food sovereignty, and social economics, through case studies of real people and communities in both urban and rural New Zealand, as well as through a global lens.

These inspiring stories and helpful insights provide a compass that can help us to navigate towards a more equitable and sustainable future.

About the author:

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer with a PhD in social science. She writes novels for adults and for young people. Her novel Fishing for Māui was named one of the best books of 2018 in The Listener Magazine and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers awards 2019. She has also written articles for The Spinoff, Pantograph Punch and Organic NZ. Isa lives in Wellington.

A note from the author:

‘Food has always been important to me. When I was growing up, as a fussy child in a household where money was tight, I often struggled to eat and would sometimes go without food.

Later, as a sociology student and then as a parent, I became interested in food as a research topic. It is both a personal daily focus and it also intersects with wider social, political and global issues.

I became increasingly aware of problems with the global corporate food system. At the same time, I noticed local solutions springing up, focusing on nourishing food and community. This interest led to my Masters’ research and then to my PhD.

There is a sense of urgency building from scientists, activists, citizens and social researchers; awareness that we are heading towards a global crisis. Our food systems can both cause these problems and are also vulnerable to global politics and changes in climate.

In the face of fears of crisis, it is my view that we need stories of solutions more than ever – genuine stories that inspire hope and resonate with people. In the process of my research, I gathered these kinds of stories in New Zealand, with a focus on our small-scale local food providers.’