The paper analyses the crucial relationship between food and sustainability, stressing the mutual influence between production and consumption of food-stuffs and proposing an interpretation pattern of food issues. The paper examines the several aspects of this relationship. In particular, the paper deals with: a) changes of consumption after the Second World War; b) relationships between food and risks; c) the role of critical consumerism and the outcomes for the food system. Finally, the paper analyses the ‘new rural development paradigm’ and describes a ‘new sustainable approach’, stressing the role of food: a) as ‘connector’ between humankind and nature and between towns and country; b) as social ‘aggregation factor’ of relations, networks, and movements.
Keywords: Agro-ecology, food security, life styles, participation, networks, sustainability.