'If the countryside doesn't plant, the city won't eat': rural livelihoods, young people and food-water-energy security in the Vale de Paraiba, São Paulo

Catherine Walker, Ben Coles

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Recent scholarship theorises the multiple entanglements between food and consumer bodies. Simultaneously, it considers the wider webs of interconnections in which food security, along with that of water and energy, is implicated. The latter focuses on the large scale flows of relations that comprise a ‘nexus’ of food-water-energy security, often at urban scales, whilst the former considers the socialized subjectivities of food’s production and consumption through practices such as attunement (Carolan 2016) and ingestion (Abbots 2016) within the body. This paper brings these two literatures together to better understand the ways in which food-security is constituted through the bodies of young people.

Drawing from recent empirical research carried out with 10-25-year-olds and with key professionals working in civil society, industry, government and educational settings in the Brazilian southeast we examine young Brazilians as producers and consumers of food. We explore their narratives of consumption and production, alongside those of actors involved in promoting young people’s access to healthy food, knowledge about food security and involvement in sustaining rural livelihoods, to consider how their bodies are used to buttress arguments for greater food security and to raise concerns about ‘rural exodus’. Our case study demonstrates the ways in which imaginations of the rural are bound up in notions of health, sustainability and the bodies of young people. Further, however, it blurs the often normalized scalar configurations to illustrate the ways in which rural economies and livelihoods shuttle across and knit between processes that are otherwise thought of as urban.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventRoyal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Aug 20171 Sept 2017

Conference

ConferenceRoyal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period29/08/171/09/17

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Consumption Institute

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