Can Local Food Systems Feed the World?

Lunch 1

On Sat 19th of October the Fife Diet was part of the one World Week Lunch, in association with the Cupar Justice and Peace Group.

Teresa Martinez, Fife Diet’s Project Coordinator, delivered the talk ‘the Business of Feeding the 9 Billion: Food Security vs Food Sovereignty in a time of global agricultural change’. Please find presentation here:

These were some of the main messages extracted from her presentation:

  • Hunger is not a question of scarcity or lack of food but of maldistribution and inequality.
  • 800 million people go hungry everyday . 80% of the world’s hungry people are directly involved in food production. Peasants and small farmers make up half of the world population and grow at least 70% of the world’s food.
  • We can feed the world with free range farm animal production systems and lower meat diets in developed countries.
  • We cannot achieve Food Security without achieving Food Sovereignty. Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock, and fisheries systems in contrast to having food largely subjected to international market forces.
  • We need a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. This will only happen with the development of Local Food Systems in the North and in the Global South.
  • Both the Local Food Movement and the Fair Trade Movement play an important role in maintaining and promoting models of sustainable agriculture.Fair Trade Stall


Fife Diet prepared the lunch using a mix of local and fair trade ingredients. Here are the recipes for those who requested them.

 Spiced Pumpkin Soup

 We used our largest pumpkin from this year’s harvest for Saturday’s lunch – it fed over 50 people on the day, with some left over for our Kids Club Pumpkin Party. Who says local food has to be expensive?

Apologies for some of the vague quantities – it can be quite hard to scale up and scale down recipes exactly!

Broomhill Pumpkin Harvest

Our pumpkin harvest – the large orange one on the left is the beast that fed over 50 people

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 sticks celery
1 leek
2 medium potatoes
1 medium carrot
1 / 2 small pumpkin, or less of a larger one!
Pinch chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 blade mace
a couple of sprigs of thyme
a couple of tsp vegetable bouillon powder, or a veggie stock cube

Wash and finely chop all the vegetables, and peel and chop the pumpkin (you can keep this in larger chunks, as they usually cook quickly) Fry the onion in a little oil or butter for 10 minutes until soft, before adding the garlic, leeks and celery and allowing them to soften up. Add the spices and frying for a few minutes more, before adding the carrots, potatoes and pumpkin. Add enough water to just cover the veg (pumpkin goes quite watery when you blend it, so too much liquid at this stage will make for a very thin soup), stir through the stock powder or cube, then put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, until all the veg are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending with a hand blender or in a food processor. Taste and season.

When we reheated this for the kids’ party, we added a little double cream, which was delicious.

 Fair Trade Rice Salad

Thanks to Margaret Lawrence, who donated the rice for the lunch on Saturday. You can vary the vegetables and herbs used in this dish depending on what’s in season or what you have in your garden. Just make sure to chop it all up as finely as you can or grate it – you want the pieces of veg to blend in nicely with the rice, so everything needs to be of a similar size.

You could skip the first step here and use plain leftover rice from a previous meal as the base for your salad. Be careful though – rice that has been kept warm for a while before cooling can harbour dangerous bacteria. Make sure you cool your rice down as quickly as possible, store it in a suitable container in the fridge, and don’t re-heat it. And don’t use anything left over from the Chinese you had last night!

200g rice (my preference is brown basmati, as it keeps it bite and has a nice nutty flavour)
1 onion, finely chopped
veg bouillon powder
small bulb of fennel, finely chopped
2 – 3 handfuls broad beans, podded
½ kohlrabi, grated
small handful parsley
the zest and juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
drizzle of olive or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Fry the onion in a little oil for 10 minutes until soft. Weigh out the rice into a measuring jug, noting the volume it reaches, before adding it to the onion and stirring to coat. Measure out 2 ½ times the volume of rice in cold water (e.g. 200ml of rice would be 500ml of water) and add this to the rice, along with a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder. Turn up the heat, bring to the boil, and boil fairly hard until most of the water is absorbed but there is still a little left around the sides of the rice. You’ll need to keep an eye on it at this point, as it can go from ‘almost absorbed’ to ‘boiled dry’ very quickly! Put a tight fitting lid on, turn the heat off, and leave the pan to sit for at least 10 minutes, for the last of the water to be absorbed and the rice to fluff up. Once cooked, tip the rice out onto a clean baking sheet, spread it out and allow to cool. You can do this the night before you need the salad, popping the rice into a suitable tub and leaving it in the fridge.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the broad beans for 3 – 5 minutes, depending on their size. Drain, run under a tap of cold water, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the beans out of their skins (If they’re early summer beans, you don’t need to bother shelling them, but the second crops you get at this time of year can have quite tough skins on them). Prepare the fennel, kohlrabi and parsley, then mix together with the cooled rice and broad beans. Pour over the lemon juice and zest, a drizzle of oil, and season. Mix together, taste, and adjust according to your preferences – you might like more lemon juice or oil, or want to add more parsley.