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The Landscapes of Italian Food

The Landscapes of Italian Food: Local Development and Healthy Practice

This book explores contemporary food systems in Italy, covering landscapes, local practices and cultural history. It examines alternative supply chains, such as food cooperatives and community gardens, as well as the responses of large retailers to the environmental concerns of their customers.

Publisher’s summary

This book examines contemporary food systems in Italy, paying particular attention to the landscape, innovative local practices and local cultural history. It illustrates the utility of the value chain concept in navigating the complexities of comparative advantage in an advanced market setting.

It establishes the connection between the landscape and individual food practices, and how they have responded to the commodification of the agri-food system, maintaining a distinctive local character while ensuring development and a healthy diet. It explores how community gardens are now a consolidated part of Italian urban experience, as well as the multiple policy frameworks which govern these activities. The book then explores a wider range of food procurement channels, from food cooperatives to buying groups and institutional partnerships, including the strategies employed by large retail groups to respond to the growing environmental sensitivity of their customers. Multifunctional implications of antimafia activities involving social agriculture are also explored. Finally, the book ends with a survey of European and domestic Italian policies aiming to protect and promote healthy food practices while preserving the integrity of the landscape.

This is fascinating reading for anyone interested in quality food and the territory, as well as academic readers from such disparate disciplines as sociology, urban studies, anthropology and Italian studies.



Smith, G. and Berruti, G. (2023). The Landscapes of Italian Food: Local Development and Healthy Practice. Routledge, Abingdon.

Read more here. See also the TABLE explainer What is food sovereignty?

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