Shining a spotlight on the central role food plays in people’s lives, a new campaign will bring together communities, food businesses and organisations to celebrate eating and build a better food system for Bristol.
Bristol Bites Back Better hopes to give everyone the means to participate in the city’s food system and encourage people to think about using food to improve their physical and mental health, build a stronger local economy, protect the environment, and celebrate Bristol’s cultural diversity.
Bristol Bites Back Better is a partnership between Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Bristol City Council, and Resource Future in an aim for the city to be recognised as a Gold Sustainable Food City in spring 2021.
Bristol launched its bid for the award, known as Bristol Going for Gold, in 2019. The award aims to create a healthier, more resilient and inclusive food community in the city.
A new website for Bristol Bites Back Better contains information, resources and stories to help people living in the city learn more about food, such as growing food at home, cooking more meals from scratch, making the most of the food available, and finding ways to support local food businesses.
“In a year marked by uncertainty, the one thing that touches all our lives is food; how we access it, and how we experience it in our families and communities,” says deputy mayor Asher Craig.
“Bristol is a pioneering city when it comes to sustainable approaches to food, but not everyone has had the opportunity to participate in the conversation about what good food means to them, or to share their thoughts on what changes they would like to see to make food in our city better in the future.
“With Bristol Bites Back Better, we’re inviting everyone in the city to explore how food can make our lives and our city better, and to hear from communities across the city about how they’re using food to get through these times.”
Individuals can find resources and inspiration for making simple changes in the way they shop, cook, eat and dispose of food and organisations and food businesses can learn how they can create stronger food system for the city.
Bristol Bites Back Better will also be a vital part of the city’s recovery from Covid-19. More than 125 community organisations have been supporting people across the city access food during the pandemic.
Anira Khokhar, community engagement lead for Bristol Bites Back Better, will also be piloting a programme to connect younger people with food in their communities as part of the new campaign, saying: “In order to ensure that the discussion around sustainable food continues to go from strength to strength, young people must be included in the decision making process.
“The programme will provide a platform for young people to learn lifelong skills, participate, share stories, and shape the impact of food in their own and wider communities.”
Individuals and organisations are encouraged to share their own insights and stories using the hashtag #BiteBackBetter.
“The pandemic has put food in the spotlight – the way we access it, how it affects our health and wellbeing, what it does to our environment, and how many livelihoods depend on it,” say the Bristol Bites Back Better team. “By sharing knowledge, skills and stories, building networks and amplifying voices, we can address these issues through the lens of good food.
“It’s time for Bristol to #BiteBackBetter.”
Main photo: James Koch