The Fife Diet - An experiment in local eating
Organisation has developed into an officially funded body with full-time employees
When Mike and Karen Small initiated their ‘experiment’ in local eating in 2007, it attracted lots of media attention. As Mike says, ‘it’s a mad world we live in when an idea such as eating food from near where you come from is seen as groundbreaking and extraordinary.’ The idea, however, was never to eat only food from Fife, but to celebrate what was already being produced and explore what could grow in the region. Now with over 1000 individual members, the project has developed into an officially funded body with full-time employees aiming to localise food consumption generally and explore sustainable food. The organisation is involved with various community initiatives based around growing and sourcing local food. It uses a regularly updated blog to publish ‘growing ideas’ as advice for gardeners with vegetable patches, and local producers are consistently promoted. Recipes from Fife Diet participants are also often posted as a way of raising awareness not just of what’s available locally, but what to do with it once you’ve got hold of it. The profile of Fife Diet has also galvanised other groups around Scotland and the world to initiate their own local diets, inspired by the realisation that relocalising our diets can, in Mike Small’s words, be ‘liberating’.
One Planet Food
Based at the Falkland Centre for Sustainability, One Planet Food is an initiative to encourage a sustainable, healthy and inclusive food culture across Scotland and, hopefully, beyond. Starting from the perspective that if everyone in the world ate food the way it’s currently consumed in Scotland it would require three planets to support, One Planet Food provides advice and encouragement to local food initiatives, as well as researching and developing regional policies and projects promoting sustainable food systems. The centre is also taking a role in influencing national food policy, linking issues of food security and food production in Scotland with the global debate on food sovereignty and climate change.
The Big Tent Festival
The Big Tent Festival at Falkland Estate is Scotland’s biggest environmental festival, with live music, crafts, family activities, workshops and debates. The food zone is known as the One Planet Food Village and features stalls and catering from a range of small food and drink producers based in Fife or immediately nearby.