Food Dialogues: Localising Cape Town's Food System

© Marinda Louw

The Food Dialogues were conceived of and produced by the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) as a 10-part series of talks on the food system in Cape Town. Sessions brought together a wide range of speakers involved in shaping the food system, providing an opportunity for food growers, academics, activists, writers, nutritionists, food lovers and anyone interested in sustainable approaches to engage in key issues intimately connected to the food we eat and the future of food in Cape Town.

Science writer Leonie Joubert, joined the team to draw out the narratives, extract the themes expressed by the various speakers, and unpack opportunities and ideas that emerged as trends through the discussions. The aim is to inform future food dialogues, workshops and potentially a symposium on the food system in Cape Town.

By Leonie Joubert

Creating a Healthy Urban Food System

‘Placemaking’ is the idea of building communities around places. It’s a way of planning and using public spaces that promotes wellbeing and health in a community....more

Environmental Impact of Food Systems

Every calorie of food we grow, harvest, ship, process, package, chill,cook, eat and throw away uses up resources from the environment: the soil and its nutrients, water, fertiliser, fuel, and so on....more

How Culture Influences Food Systems

How we use food is deeply rooted in our cultural attitudes towards it. If we can understand what shapes our views on food, we can better address whether or not people choose healthier foods or not...more

How Poor Nutrition Affects Food Systems

Growing vegetables, fruit, nuts and so forth within the city is a great way to make sure that food that was ‘recently alive’ is on hand....more

How Poverty Shapes Food Systems

Consider what it’s like for all time- and cash- strapped parents who have to return home each night and make sure their children go to bed on a filling meal....more

How Rural Food Systems Work

The idea of a ‘food desert’ comes from Europe and the US where, in the 1990s supermarket chains were pulling their stores out of poor inner city neighbourhoods because they weren’t turning enough profit....more

Oranjezicht City Farm

The Oranjezicht City Farm is a neighbourhood non-profit project in Cape Town celebrating local food, culture and community through urban agriculture....more

Solutions to Food Wastage

A third of all food produced around the world goes to waste. In some wealthier communities, it’s as much as half....more

The Fishing Industry of the Cape Coast

South Africa has 2 500km of coastline. For some of us, the fish that comes out of these oceans is a significant part of both our culture and diet....more

The Importance of a Local Food System

Going ‘local’ is about more than just growing food within the confines of the Mother City to meet our need for fresh whole foods....more

The People's Role in Localising Food Systems

Right here in Cape Town, groups of ‘knowledge generating’ people are coming together to share ideas and find practical solutions to often intractable problems facing us in the modern world....more

The Role of Sugar in Food Systems

Sugar used to be a condiment we added to food to enhance its flavour, like a sprinkle of salt or pepper....more

The Urban Diet

The problem with grains, potatoes and other starchy staple foods is that they form the basis of the urban diet that’s high in refined and processed foods, which are high in energy but low in micronutrients....more

Urban Food Gardens

Urban food gardens are an important way to help trickle-feed much-needed fresh produce into our kitchens. They’re also a key way to remind urbanites, who are now so far removed from the soil that gives us our food...more