Sustainable food practices in Barcelona and Melbourne
New technology has shifted the way food sharing takes place – from meal sharing apps that are used to exchange home-cooked meals, to online maps that reveal surplus harvests, new technologies are reforming what it means to share food.
One of the changes we’ve seen is increased accessibility to citizens. When I studied the online platform RipeNearMe in Melbourne, I really liked how it enabled people growing produce in their own backyards to enter into sustainability and food-sharing activities that perhaps would have been more of a challenge without technology.
That said, I do think that technology is not the be-all and end-all for food sharing. While it is useful to enable access and entry, I think human engagement is also necessary. You also need to consider the politics behind that technology. Some form of face-to-face activity has remained an important element across the most successful food-sharing organisations that I’ve studied.
SHARECITY is a European Research Council-funded project led by Professor Anna Davies at Trinity College Dublin – but we’re doing research all over the world. The first thing we put together as a team was an online, searchable database of food -sharing initiatives in 100 cities.