‘Last year, the City of Cape Town approved plans to build houses on a large area of the Philippi horticultural area. This poses a threat to local farmers, and means that all Capetonians – whether wealthy or poor – will have to pay more for their fresh produce. If we want to ensure that our city remains food secure, small farmers and particularly those in Philippi need our support.’
‘My problem with the cult of authenticity – other than its tedious pedantry – is that it conflates eating ‘authentically’ with some ability to make meaningful difference in the world. More often that not, peasant food is labelled authentic food. Even the most passing familiarity with what most poor people eat will demonstrate that people’s diets improve as their disposable income increases. Peasant food in Italy before the mid-twentieth century was nutritionally inadequate: it consisted of bread and polenta with onions oil and, occasionally, cheap fish and vegetables.
There is nothing wrong with eating peasant food, but it is deeply problematic to believe that eating ‘real’ peasant food represents a solidarity with the struggles of the poor. In fact, it’s a distraction from the ways in which food and big agricultural companies exploit labourers and put small and peasant farmers out of business.’
‘Sitting on a wooden bench in one of the busiest bus stations in Rwanda’s capital, three women are typing furiously, seemingly oblivious to the passing commuter traffic.
The trio belong to an endangered army of “typewriter typists” who provide an essential service in Rwanda, producing CVs, business proposals and love letters for those with no access to printers or computers.’