When Jean de La Fontaine wrote the fable entitled « Le Rat des villes et le Rat des champs » he created one of the most popular images of the gap between urban and rural ways of living. Indeed, cities have always been the epitome of power, modernity and progress, overwhelming the country. The rural are peasants, while the citizens (and the word is etymologically explicit) are civilized. Such ideas are deeply rooted in collective imagination, and the industrialization combined with the rural exodus, or rural-urban migration, have reinforced the idea that the city is offering better opportunities in life than the country.
Basically the urban used to get food, great amounts of it, but without being aware of how it gets to supermarket: it is wrapped, clean, shiny, and it looks tasty. And for a long time it was the way we wanted it. We even dreamed of meals held into small pills, just like S. Kubrick imagined in 2001, Space Odyssey. But then sustainable development, environmental issues and global warming came, and we went from meal pills to growing organic and local food. We linked our health with our plates. We linked our way of living and eating with global warming. We started to realize that we were many humans on a small planet, and we worried about THE major trivial, animal, instinct: how and what will we eat tomorrow? And we are now even more worried that the question is pregnant and very much connected with the fact that we mostly are living in cities that tends to becoming megalopolis.
How come such an interesting turn occurred? Lire la suite « Back to basics: which future for food production? »