chapter  Chapter 2
14 Pages

The politics of food

Commoning practices in alternative food networks in Istanbul 1
WithAyça nce, Zeynep Kadirbeyolu

This chapter focuses on three Istanbul-based initiatives: the university cooperative Bogazici University Consumers’ Cooperative, the neighbourhood cooperative Kadikoy Coop, and the food collective DURTUK. It examines the goals and activities of three alternative food networks (AFNs) from Istanbul in order to understand how consumer initiatives actively search for producers rather than going through what is offered in the market. The chapter argues that active members of such AFNs are commoners and their social practices in the course of the quotidian food provision process constitute practices of commoning. AFNs are usually concerned with how food is produced, consumed, and distributed. They are often rooted in ideals such as supporting fair production and trade, ecological sustainability, and access to healthy and affordable food. In Turkey, the growth model that relied on import substitution had hit a wall with the deepening debt crisis in the 1970s. The commoner comes into being in the process of food provisioning and through the commoning practices.