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Richardson, Leah Nyabungu, 2021. Transforming the Food System through Sustainable Gastronomy : how Chefs Engage with Food Democracy for System Change. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Department of Molecular Sciences

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The global food system contributes significantly to climate change and environmental degradation. The food system is a complex system that traditionally is viewed in as a series of interlinking and related actors and processes. New dynamics are needed to contribute to transforming the food system. This research aims to investigate, using the lens of food democracy, how chefs practicing sustainable gastronomy are contributing to transforming our food system. To better understand how chefs practicing sustainable gastronomy change the food system a qualitative study was conducted, interviewing ten chefs in three countries. The research followed a deductive approach whereby theory guided the research and drew on the theories of food democracy and food systems in order to examine the subject and answer the research questions
This study shows that chefs practicing sustainable gastronomy are transforming the food system to a more sustainable one by contributing to sustainable food practices, improved food values and new food behaviours. The results very clearly demonstrated that chefs are using the principles of food democracy to empower people to become active in the food system. Chefs are engaging and motivating people, primarily consumers and farmers / producers, to become food citizen and to move from passive to active participation in making personal choices about their engagement with the food system. The study results show that chefs are able to influence and establish food trends in a novel manner that contribute to a transformation of consumer behaviour, products and markets. Chefs can be leaders and influencers in sustainable practices and are neglected actors in the food system. The study results made possible the creation of a conceptual model for how chefs practicing sustainable gastronomy are engaging in food democracy and changing the food system to a more sustainable one.
Practical recommendations are that chefs need to be recognised as change makers in the food system and that investments should be scaled up to equip more chefs with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively engage in food democracy to create a sustainable food system. Additionally, within initiatives already working with chefs practicing sustainable gastronomy, such as the Chef’s Manifesto, the conceptual model developed through this study could be used to guide and measure action and impact.

Main title:Transforming the Food System through Sustainable Gastronomy
Subtitle:how Chefs Engage with Food Democracy for System Change
Authors:Richardson, Leah Nyabungu
Supervisor:Fernqvist, Fredrik
Examiner:Spendrup, Sara
Series:Molecular Sciences
Volume/Sequential designation:2021:10
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM028 Sustainable Food Systems - Master's Programme, 120.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Molecular Sciences
Keywords:sustainable gastronomy, chef, food democracy, food system, sustainability transformation
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Food science and technology
Deposited On:11 Jun 2021 06:41
Metadata Last Modified:12 Jun 2021 04:00

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