Breadlines: Exploring Food and Social Justice in the UK

Breadlines is an occasional publication co-produced by: Community-Centred Knowledge and People’s Knowledge. All issues are hosted at this page on the Community Centred Knowledge Website where you will find information about how to contribute to Breadlines.

Breadlines – Issue 1 Cover

Breadlines is a space for people to talk together about food in ways that will move each person into a greater awareness of the critical importance of food in all our lives.

Not only does food mean slightly different things to different people but some of these meanings highlight contradictions and blind-spots within the food systems of the UK and so appear controversial when compared with the mainstream academic and specialist ways of speaking about the subject – so what can be made of this?

Who is a food expert? Is the one who producers it, shares it or consumes it? If the latter, then it makes all of us experts, but how is that expertise factored in to food governance and decision making?

Here at Breadlines we’d like to engage with a diversity of ‘expert’ voices and to try to support a series of conversations about food justice across different, but pertinent themes, with the hope that we can understand how to better practice, teach and learn and to move towards policies and practices which endorse a more food secure and sovereign world. We wish to promote social justice more generally because we have already understood that it underpins a more just food system.

This is an emergent forum – one that will evolve over time. Our vision is for Breadlines to be a space where critical and controversial discussions on food and food systems are made visible and vigorously debated. We strive to open a space for a wide range of voices, especially those less heard, so that we can listen to a more textured set of narratives and arguments of substance.

Article on traditional markets and food justice from Issue 1.

As editors, we feel our work is to make this space attractive and welcoming to potential contributors, supporting the representation of the issues raised, whilst only offering a light editorial hand. We intend to be selective in choosing pieces to ensure they reflect a focus on social justice rather than it being an afterthought or peripheral in nature, as it often is.

We feel this is doing justice to food: how people eat, grow, trade, process and waste are all implicated in profound ways on the social, political and economic justice delivered at the end of the day. How can we, those of us concerned about food justice, disentangle our own social, cultural and political selves to recognise more clearly how they impact upon how we speak about the food systems of the UK?

To unravel food justice in the UK – one of the world’s most impactful global empires – requires deep reflection, reconstruction of the systems that support injustice (with which we are complicit) and more shared conversation and collective action.  We hope that the content of this journal will focus on that awareness raising as it relates to the UK, but it will also draw connections with related issues and movements in other parts of the world.