Contemporary food systems in developed countries have proven to be largely unsustainable: apart from providing food security and food safety to their national populations, they entail considerable negative environmental and health externalities, fail to address rural poverty throughout the world and create and foster power imbalances in food chains, and social injustice on different levels (De Schutter, 2017). In Europe, the food sector arises to one fifth of climate change, but is comparably less researched than other alleged factors, especially in its socio-cultural dimensions. Luxembourg’s food practices have in comparison to other post-industrial countries a particular unfavourable environmental balance and contribute to an ecologically and socially unsustainable global food system (see Feyder, 2014).
Given these facts, the research project “Sustainable Food Practices / Nachhaltige Ernährungspraktiken / Pratiques alimentaires durables” consists in researching the transition processes towards a more sustainable food system and culture as well as their potential optimisation, by focusing on the involved actors from the four interdependent spheres of governance, production, diffusion and consumption – both at established mainstream-level and in innovative niches. The aim is to document, accompany and foster sustainable changes of practices that would have a positive effect on the national climate and energy efficiency as well as on social and environmental justice. We analyse social practices that have a favourable or unfavourable influence on Luxembourg’s food transition, with a particular sensitivity for social inequalities and everyday subjectivations. Such a praxeological approach permits to scrutinise the conscious decisions, negotiation positions and argumentations of the respective system members within their socio-cultural embedding. The in-depth understanding of chances and challenges as well as the barriers within the food transition is a suitable tool to help overcome lock-in situations and ultimately contribute to enhance political, economic, ecological and societal consolidations.
Ultimately, the aim of this research design is to strengthen sustainable perceptions and practices in the foodscape by a socio-cultural analysis of the respective reasons, challenges and negotiations of the involved actors. It is assigning itself to the task of sensitizing politics and society for the global consequences of our collective food practices, by both researching and enhancing such transition processes, according to the claim of transformative research.
Timespan of the project:
May 2016 to May 2021
Dr. Rachel Reckinger
Dr. Diane Kapgen, Dr. Helena Korjonen
Anna Caitriona Pax, Leonie Hasselberg, Michaela Hornak, Julia Lorenz, Sylvie Nicolay
Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures, Luxembourg