1st Edition

The School Food Revolution Public Food and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

By Kevin Morgan, Roberta Sonnino Copyright 2008
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    'The School Food Revolution is an important book that deserves success.' Journal of Organic Systems 'A great new book that describes how 'the humble school meal' can be considered as 'a litmus test of... government's political commitment to sustainable development.' Peter Riggs, Director, Forum on Democracy & Trade 'The School Food Revolution should be an inspiration for policy makers and for school heads and school canteen operators.' Tom Vaclavik, President, Organic Retailers Association School food suddenly finds itself at the forefront of contemporary debates about healthy eating, social inclusion, ecological sustainability and local economic development. All around the world it is becoming clear - to experts, parents, educators, practitioners and policy-makers - that the school food service has the potential to deliver multiple dividends that would significantly advance the sustainable development agenda at global, national and local levels. Drawing on new empirical data collected in urban and rural areas of Europe, North America and Africa, this book offers a timely and original contribution to the school food debate by highlighting the potential of creative public procurement - the power of purchase. The book takes a critical look at the alleged benefits of school food reform, such as lower food miles, the creation of markets for local producers and new food education initiatives that empower consumers by nurturing their capacity to eat healthily. To assess the potential of these claims, the book compares a variety of sites involved in the school food revolution - from rural communities committed to the values of 'the local' to global cities such as London, New York and Rome that feed millions of ethnically diverse young people daily. The book also examines the UN's new school feeding programme - the Home Grown Programme - which sees nutritious food as an end in itself as well as a means to meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Overall, the book examines the theory, policy and practice of public food provisioning, offering a comparative perspective on the design and delivery of sustainable school food systems. The cover illustration is by a Roman child. The authors would like to thank the City of Rome (Department for School and Educational Policies) for permission to reproduce it.

    Introduction * Public Food and Sustainable Development: Barriers and Opportunities * Procurement Matters: Reclaiming the Public Plate * Fast Food Nation? Reinventing the School Lunch Programme in New York City * School Food as Social Justice: The Quality Revolution in Rome * A Sustainable World City? School Food Reform in London * Beyond the City: The Rural Revolution in School Food Provision * Home-Grown: The School Feeding Revolution in Developing Countries * Sustainable Development and the Public Realm: The Power of the Public Plate * Index


    Kevin Morgan is Professor of Governance and Development in the School of City and Regional Planning at Cardiff University, UK. Roberta Sonnino is a Lecturer in Environmental Policy and Planning at the School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, UK.

    'There is much useful and thought-provoking information in this book on approaches to community engagement, drawing on the authors' vast personal experiences.' Food Ethics '[A] great new book... The School Food Revolution inspires us to think about different approaches toward building sustainable school food systems.' Environmental Grantmakers Association Journal 'Anyone interested in changing the current school food system, including the lunch ladies, teachers, parents, producers, buyers, governors and politicians will enjoy reading this well composed book.' Agriculture and Human Values