Fife Diet Food Manifesto 2012


On Wednesday night we launched our brand new FOOD MANIFESTO at the Melting Pot Edinburgh, with delicious food served up by Cookie Scotland from Glasgow, including Neep Fritters, Mackerel Pate on Toast, Spring Green Frittata. The design for our manifesto was done by Euan at D8 in Glasgow.

Thanks to everyone who has offered advice to the work including: Professor Annie Anderson, Patrick Mulvany (Practical Action), Jo Hunt (Nourish), Andy Wightman, Donald Reid (The Larder), Sascha Grierson, Laura Stewart (Soil Association), Douglas Watson (SAOS), Justin Kenrick (H350), Bill Gray (Community Food & Health), Kate Campbell and Eve Keepax (Eco Schools), Robin Gourlay, Joanna Blythman, Peter Brown (QMS), Pat Abel and others. We’d really like your feedback and thoughts and we’ll be creating opportunities for this to happen, but please leave comments below.

The manifesto is the culmination of five years action research in Fife and beyond, trying to get an understanding of how food can be part of restorative practice across health and well-being ecology and community. We intend to discuss these ideas over the coming months with as wide a group as possible, hold them up to scrutiny and explore ways they can be brought to life through collaborations, existing and future legislation. We list our top twenty ideas to change the way we eat, then give some more detail on the top ten.

The purpose of the manifesto is to try and help build a food culture in which communities can begin to take charge of creating a better food system. We propose ‘food sovereignty replacing ‘food security’ as the guiding principle of our policy, and explore the opportunities for collaborative gains between the agendas of community food and health, affordability and sustainability.

The policies are ordered in four themes: low carbon communities, culture & education, health & wellbeing and innovation & enterprise. [If your browser cannot read the SCRIBD file below go here instead]

[scribd id=90485799 key=key-2gxdiw9d05bf1rzvl4c3 mode=list]

  • Admin
    The Fife Diet June 11, 2012 at 08:10

    Hi Vicki
    thanks for the comment. Yes the eat meat vs don’t eat meat issue if often polarised and over-simplified. Our view is that it is down to personal ethics on one hand so we don’t TELL people what to do. However we do encourage people to eat better meat (ie less processed, grass-fed, organic) and we do not list producers in our producers list if we feel they are not up to standard of husbandry.

    We’ll be debating this more fully at the Big Tent Festival at a session on our manifesto proposals.


  • vicki HIrd June 7, 2012 at 15:07

    i would be interested to know how you will start a debate about levels of different foods in the diet – you only very lightly touch on one of the most important issues in the diet in terms of overall sustainablity – meat and dairy – yet there is rich debate to be had and some positve and healthy solutions to be discussed – not based in industrial often inhumane systems which are being presented by many parts of the food system as the only way forward. why is this so little covered here? I’d be interested to know as it is so important for the debate not to be polarised into eat meat vs dont eat meat as that has no value as a discussion overall.
    really like what you are doing

  • Admin
    The Fife Diet May 30, 2012 at 14:47

    Bob – email me and I’ll send you a copy?

  • Bob May 24, 2012 at 16:19

    How do I download the snazzy graphic version without joining Facebook of Scribus?

    Good work by the way. Bob

  • Christopher Trotter May 22, 2012 at 08:59

    some excellent radical thinking, at last some one is asking the real questions about obesity and health! Soda tax is brilliant and all children should learn to cook at least soup. Would love to be on the “leadership team”

  • Iain MacKinnon May 2, 2012 at 08:44

    The idea of a ‘right to grow’ (point 2 in this inspiring manifesto) reminded me of an issue that came out of the Let’s Liberate Diversity conference on Agricultural Biodiversity that I attended in March in Strathpeffer. It attracted delegates from throughout Europe, and also some from Asia and Africa, who are maintaining, or supporting those who maintain, landrace varieties of plant crops, and native breeds of animals (like our Highland cows and Hebridean sheep), in the face of homogenising commercial pressures exerted by multinational seed corporates like Monsanto.

    One of the themes of the event was of ‘land rights’, and in the Scottish/Highland context Susan Walker and I were able to tell delegates something of the new (since 2003) community right to buy/own land (for whatever that right is worth in the legislation at present) and the older (since 1886) rights in crofting areas to ‘use and occupy’ the land.

    In response to our explanation of the Scottish situation, one of the French farmers said he felt that rights of use and occupancy go beyond the issue of who owns land – use and occupancy has primacy in terms of being responsible to the land. Speaking, it seemed to me, as one who is determined to preserve a sustainable peasant agriculture in the face of the massive industrialisation of agriculture in France (or at least in many parts of it) this farmer’s view was that a community has the same ability to destroy its lands as an individual, which is why, in my recollection of what he said, collective rights of ownership are less important than – or incomplete without (I don’t want to misinterpret him here) – an additional ‘regulatory’ process to ensure responsibility to the land.

    I think this is one of the (potential) strengths of the crofting system as a regulated system of tenure: that the rights granted to crofters since 1886 to use and occupy (but not to own) land are accompanied by responsibilities (e.g. to keep the land in good heart – now called ‘purposeful use’ in the crofting legislation). It is debatable how well these responsibilities have been regulated up until now but – backed up by the legal authority of the Scottish Land Court (100 years old last week) – the legal norms established in the crofting system of landholding represent a considerable breach in the British societal norm of the individual right to property.

    It seems to me that the relationship between rights to buy/own land, on the one hand, and the right to use, occupy and work/grow on the land, on the other, is one that may become more prominent in the years ahead if, as seems likely, the commoditised global food economy, begins to break down. That’s why I like the idea of a ‘right to grow’. In my opinion an argument for legislative establishment of such a ‘right to grow’ can be found in the deep roots of a distinctly Scottish land ethic (what James Hunter has called an indigenous Scottish green consciousness). These roots are there but they need tended and strengthened if they are to evolve to meet the emerging crisis. The Fife Diet’s manifesto, in my reading of it, is part of that process – more power to you!

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