An examination of rural and coastal foodscapes: insights for the study of community food security and sustainable food systems

Lowitt, Kristen (2013) An examination of rural and coastal foodscapes: insights for the study of community food security and sustainable food systems. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In the context of growing inequity in access to food, threatened livelihoods for food producers, and environmental challenges, food security has garnered significant attention. Over the last twenty years, food security research has shifted from a focus on the individual and household to considering the role of community. It suggests that community well-being influences sustained food security and that local communities should have more ownership over their food system. Community food security has emerged as part of a movement in North America and Europe towards sustainable and local food systems. -- However, most community food security remains focused on agri-food systems to the neglect of fisheries. This study is a significant contribution to the community food security literature by examining the intersections of fisheries restructuring and community food security in the Bonne Bay region on Newfoundland's west coast. Since the 1990s collapse of regional cod stocks, many coastal areas in Newfoundland, including Bonne Bay, have undergone significant social and economic change related to the fishing industry. As food security becomes increasingly linked to ideas about the ' local' and 'sustainable,' this study interrogates what these ideas mean in the Bonne Bay region. -- This study presents the foodscape as a new conceptual lens for understanding community food security. Most simply, foodscapes are the sites or landscapes where food can be obtained as well as the interactions with food that unfold in these places. A foodscape analysis explores the connections among people, places, and food, including the connections among the acquisition, preparation and eating of food, to understand food security at interrelated household and community levels. Findings show that community food security in the Bonne Bay region takes places at the interface of formal and informal food economies. Most households use a food provisioning strategy combining food purchasing and self-provisioning. Local seafood remains important to diets, although there are increasing constraints on its access. -- This case study highlights important gaps and opportunities for future community food security research. First, a consideration of self-provisioning and informal economies has only been marginally explored in food scholarship. Secondly, this study calls for greater consideration of fisheries to truly address issues of equity and sustainability in food systems.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10924
Item ID: 10924
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 264-308).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Food security--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonne Bay; Food habits--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonne Bay; Food supply--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonne Bay.

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