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The Hungry Season – Feeding southern Africa's cities

Author Leonie Joubert speaks to Polity about her latest book, ‘The Hungry Season’. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 09/10/2012

10th October 2012

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The food we eat is as colourful as the cultures of the people eating it. But why we eat the way we do runs deeper than the whims of our traditions or palates. The Hungry Season takes author Leonie Joubert and photographer Eric Miller into the lives of people in eight sourthern African places to trace, in accessible narrative and compelling photographs, the complex undercurrents driving food security in urban spaces: childhood stunting and malnutrition; the shift from traditional 'African' to 'Western' diets; illnesses associated with a modern diet; nutritional literacy, behaviour and choices; large-scale food production and urban food gardens; poverty, joblessness and the geography of the city; urban planning, supermarkets and the full food value chain; and food wastage.

The Hungry Season looks at hunger and malnutrition in the city, hidden behind layers of affluence and comfort. It tackles the fundamental question: Why is it that southern Africa seems to produce enough calories and nutrients to keep the region full, satisfied and well nourished, and yet still has so many people living with hunger or the fear of hunger?

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Polity's Shannon de Ryhove speaks to author Leonie Joubert to find out the answer to this question.

The Hungry Season: Feeding southern Africa's cities is published by Picador Africa, an imprint of Pan Macmillan South Africa.

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