This panel considers temporality and the specific political, historical and cultural contexts that shape various 'alternatives' for European food, how it is grown, processed and consumed now and in potentia.
The movement of human bodies, and along with them the food they produce and consume, is enmeshed in worries and anticipations, plans and policies, and visions of a better life. This panel addresses the imaginaries of European farming by considering how temporality is used to deal with uncertainty in the short and long term, through the shaping of alternative food futures. The papers in the panel will showcase the challenges to, limitations of and opportunities for these alternative futures, all of which are significantly defined by their particular political, historical and cultural contexts. This includes discussions about the dynamics of urban agriculture and the futures of rural agriculture, the logics of scalability, entrepreneurship and cooperation when applied to urban smallholdings or organic farming, as well as the dissemblance between standardisation, safety and sustainability. Tracking these various projects and processes, it is clear that plans for European food are as much about, or are more concerned with, negotiating and pacifying troublesome presents as they are about altering the future.