In 2007 Lord Cameron of Dillington, first head of the Countryside Agency, famously remarked Britain was ‘nine meals away from anarchy.’ Our food supply is almost totally dependent on oil (95% of the food we eat is oil-dependent) and if the oil supply to Britain were suddenly cut off Lord Cameron estimated it would take just three full days before law and order broke down. We rely on a particularly vulnerable system. Britain needs to seriously invest in agriculture infrastructure if we are to avoid food crisis.
Cities are the most likely to feel the effects of any food shortages. In 2000 consultants Best Foot Forward estimated that Londoners consumed 6.9 million tonnes of food per year, of which 81% came from outside the UK. With a weakening pound importing food has become increasingly expensive. The transformation of cities from consumers of food to generators of agricultural products not only increases food security but contributes to sustainability, improved health and poverty alleviation.
This exhibition demonstrates various methods by which food production can be incorporated into the urban environment at both an industrial and domestic level. We hope to help stimulate the debate and raise public awareness of our increasingly fragile relationship with the food on which we rely on and the method of bringing it to our table.