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Eco-gastronomy: creative food for transformation

  • Björklund, Tove
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Present-day food systems are characterised by industrial mass-production and are becoming exceedingly untenable from a social, ecological and economic perspective. The era of favourable growing conditions and stability is no longer guaranteed, and arguments for holistic and transformative solutions are raised, that can reconnect humanity to the biosphere and create resilient food systems. The overall aim of this study is to describe eco-gastronomy within a Swedish context, and to explore its potential to act as an incubator for change within the foodservice sector. The findings contribute to the transformation framework with contextual understanding on how sub-processes (in the preparation phase) play out in an eco-gastronomic context. One of the main challenges for the future and viability of eco-gastronomy is associated with limited supply and access to high quality and sustainable Swedish produce. Food professionals envision and innovate new pathways through social-ecological innovation, network building, novel organization and close collaboration (e.g. knowledge exchange, feedback). Collaborative efforts are made to support diversity, quality and access to eco-gastronomic produce. However, eco-gastronomic practices are both adaptive and transformative, and a potential trade-off is outlined between the goal of achieving an extensive change in food preferences and transformative production practices. Low social sustainability (e.g. low salaries) and small networks can threaten the longevity and expansion of eco-gastronomy. However, networks are growing in size and number, and a new type of food awareness is described, that in extension can become a seed to a more sustainable food culture. Eco-gastronomy is not a blueprint for resilient food systems but it provides solutions that can result in a more sustainable and delicious future. 

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