A Socio-metabolic Transition of Diets on a Greek Island: Evidence of “Quiet Sustainability”
- 639 Downloads
In the search for sustainable food systems, the Mediterranean diet occupies a prominent place, from the point of view of health, by standards of ecological sustainability and as promoting a culture of moderation and conviviality. Focusing on the Greek island of Samothraki, this chapter tells the story of a community which finds itself in the middle of a dual transition, socio-metabolically, from a traditional agrarian lifestyle to a modern industrial society, and nutritionally, towards a westernization of diets. We aim at understanding current dynamics and identify potential leverage points for sustainability, from a socio-metabolic perspective. Despite an increasing dependence on imports, our findings highlight the significant role of agricultural self-provisioning and informal food networks, as an example of “quiet sustainability”. We propose to reinforce these sustainable elements of local tradition by associating them with values that find resonance within the community, such as health, localness and quality. There is the potential to support a better utilisation of local produce and make adherence to the Mediterranean diet and culture more attractive and economically viable.
KeywordsSustainable diets Socio-metabolic transition Mediterranean diet Quiet sustainability Samothraki Food self-provisioning
- Aounallah-Skhiri, H., Traissac, P., El Ati, J., Eymard-Duvernay, S., Landais, E., Achour, N., et al. (2011). Nutrition transition among adolescents of a South-Mediterranean Country: Dietary patterns, association with socio-economic factors, overweight and blood pressure. A cross-sectional study in Tunisia. Nutritional Journal, 10/38, 1–17.Google Scholar
- Atkins, P., & Bowler, I. (2001). Food in society. Economy, culture, geography. London: Hodder Education.Google Scholar
- Benessaiah, K. (2015). Transforming our food system: Let’s enable the back-to-land movement in Greece. Newsletter für Engagement und Partizipation in Europa, 05/2015. Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (BBE).Google Scholar
- Bountziouka, V., Bathrellou, E., Giotopoulou, A., Katsagoni, C., Bonou, M., Vallianou, N., et al. (2012). Development, repeatability and validity regarding energy and macronutrient intake of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire: methodological considerations. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, 22(8), 659–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bountziouka, V., Tsiotas, K., Economou, H., Naska, A., & Trichopoulou, A. (2008). Trends in food availability in GREECE—The DAFNE V Project. Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical School, University of Athens. http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_projects/2003/action1/docs/greece_en.pdf.
- CIHEAM. (2012). Mediterra 2012. The Mediterranean diet for sustainable regional development. International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM). Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
- CIHEAM/FAO. (2015). Mediterranean food consumption patterns: Diet, environment, society, economy and health. A White Paper Priority 5 of Feeding Knowledge Programme, Expo Milan 2015. CIHEAM-IAMB, Bari/FAO, Rome.Google Scholar
- Dernini, S., Meybeck, A., Burlingame, B., Gitz, G., Lacirignola, C., Debs, P., et al. (2013). Developing a methodological approach for assessing the sustainability of diets: The Mediterranean diet as a case study. New Medit, 12(3), 28–36.Google Scholar
- Duchin, F. (2005). Sustainable consumption of food: A framework for analyzing scenarios about changes in diets. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 9(1–2), 99–114.Google Scholar
- EC. (2015). The greek food basket—Athens. European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=7836&type=2&furtherPub.
- ELSTAT. (2010). Agricultural production on Samothraki. http://www.statistics.gr/en/home/. Accessed February 17, 2016.
- ELSTAT. (2012). 2011 population-housing census. Interactive Map. http://www.statistics.gr/en/interactive-map. Accessed February 12, 2016.
- EUROSTAT. (2013). Analysis of EU-27 household final consumption expenditure—Baltic countries and Greece still suffering most from the economic and financial crisis. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3433488/5585636/KS-SF-13-002-EN.PDF/a4a1ed61-bac7-4361-a3f0-4252140e1751?version=1.0.
- Evros S. A. (2004). Study on the grazing capacity of Samothraki Grazelands. Greece: Dimosineteristiki Evros. (in Greek).Google Scholar
- FAO/Bioversity. (2010). Report of the international symposium on biodiversity and sustainable diets. Rome (available at www.fao.org/ag/humannutrition/28506-0efe4aed57af34e2dbb8dc578d465df8b.pdf).
- FAO/Bioversity. (2012). Sustainable diets and biodiversity. Directions and solutions for policy, research and action. Rome (available at www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3004e/i3004e00.htm).
- Fischer-Kowalski, M., & Weisz, H. (1999). Society as hybrid between material and symbolic realms. Advances in Human Ecology, 8, 215–251.Google Scholar
- Fuchs, N. A. (2014). Effekte der EU-Agrarsubventionen auf das Extensive Weidehaltungssystem der Griechischen Insel Samothraki. Sozialökologische Fallstudie im Hinblick auf Umweltrelevante Veränderungen (Master Thesis). Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt.Google Scholar
- Goodman, D., Dupuis, M. E., & Goodman, M. K. (2014). Alternative food networks. Knowledge, practice, and politics. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hinrichs, C. (2007). Introduction. Practice and place in remaking the food system. In C. Hinrichs & T. A. Lyson (Eds.), Remaking the North American food system. Strategies for sustainability. Lincoln, London: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
- Horden, P., & Purcell, N. (2000). The Corrupting Sea: A study of Mediterranean History. Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Kasimis, C., & Papadopoulos, A. G. (2013). Rural transformations and family farming in contemporary Greece. In D. Ortiz-Miranda, A. Moragues-Faus & E. A. Alegre (Eds.), Agriculture in Mediterranean Europe: Between old and new paradigms. Research in rural sociology and development (Vol. 19, pp. 263–294). Emerald Group Publishing.Google Scholar
- KEPKA. (2006). Greek consumers’ dietary habits, pan-hellenic research for the diet. KEPKA (Greek Consumers’ Protection Center) (in Greek).Google Scholar
- Kizos, T. (2008). Rural environmental management in Greece as a cultural frontier between the “occident” and the “orient”. Arbor, 729, 127–142.Google Scholar
- Kostakiotis, G. (2015). Politics of care: Challenges of aging on a small island (PhD Thesis). University of the Aegean (In Greek).Google Scholar
- LaBianca, O. S., Hubbard, L. E., & Running, L. G. (1990). Sedentarization and Nomadization: Food System Cycles at Hesban and Vicinity in Transjordan. Institute of Archaeology, Andrews University Press.Google Scholar
- Martinez, S., Hand, M. S., Da Pra, M., Pollack, S., Ralston, K., Smith, T., et al. (2010). Local food systems: Concepts, impacts, and issues. ERR 97, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.Google Scholar
- Moisides, A. (1986). Rural society in modern Greece, 1950–1980. Athens: Mediterranean Studies Foundation. (In Greek).Google Scholar
- Nestle, M. (1995). Mediterranean diets: Historical and research overview. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61(suppl.), 1313S–1320S.Google Scholar
- Petridis, P. (2012). Perceptions, attitudes and involvement of local residents in the establishment of a Samothraki biosphere reserve, Greece. Eco.mont—Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research, 4(1), 59–63.Google Scholar
- Petridis, P. (2016). Establishing a biosphere reserve on the island of Samothraki, Greece: A transdisciplinary journey. Sustainable Mediterranean, 72, 39–41.Google Scholar
- Petridis, P., & Fischer-Kowalski, M. (2016). Island sustainability: The case of Samothraki. In H. Haberl, M. Fischer-Kowalski, F. Krausmann, & V. Winiwarter (Eds.), Social ecology: Society-nature relations across time and space (pp. 543–557). Cham: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Petridis, P., Fischer-Kowalski, M., Singh, S. J., & Noll, D. (2017). The role of science in sustainability transitions: Citizen science, transformative research, and experiences from Samothraki Island, Greece. Island Studies Journal, 12(1), 115–134.Google Scholar
- Petridis, P., Hickisch, R., Klimek, M., Fischer, R., Fuchs, N., Kostakiotis, G., et al. (2013). Exploring local opportunities and barriers for a sustainability transition on a Greek Island. Social Ecology Working Paper. Nr. 142, Vienna.Google Scholar
- Petridis, P., Muraca, B., & Kallis, G. (2015). Degrowth: Between a scientific concept and a slogan for a social movement. In J. Martinez-Alier & R. Muradian (Eds.), Handbook of ecological economics (pp. 176–200). Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Scoullos, M., & Malotidi, V. (2007). Mediterranean food: Historical, environmental, health & cultural dimensions. Educational material. Athens: MIO-ECSDE.Google Scholar
- Tello, E., & González de Molina, M., Chapter 2 in this volume. Methodological challenges and general criteria for assessing and designing local sustainable agri-food systems: A socio-ecological approach at landscape level. In E. Fraňková, W. Haas & S. J. Singh (Eds.), Socio-metabolic perspectives on sustainability of local food systems. Springer.Google Scholar
- Tyrovolas, S., Polychronopoulos, E., Bountziouka, V., Zeimbekis, A., Tsiligiani, I., Papoutsou, S., et al. (2009). Level of adherence to the Mediterranean Diet among elderly individuals living in Mediterranean islands: Nutritional report from the MEDIS study. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 48(1), 76–87.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- UNESCO. (2013). Mediterranean diet. Representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Paris. http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/mediterranean-diet-00884.
- Vareiro, D., Bach-Faig, A., Quintana, B. R., Bertomeu, I., Buckland, G., de Almeida, M. D. V., et al. (2009). Availability of Mediterranean and Non-mediterranean foods during the last four decades: Comparison of several geographical areas. Public Health Nutrition, 12(9A), 1667–1675.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wieser, H. (2014). Zooming in and zooming out on the practice of sustainable food shopping: Evidence from Austria, Hungary and The Netherlands (Master Thesis). WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.Google Scholar