Going "Beyond Food": Confronting Structures of Injustice in Food Systems Research and Praxis
Keywords:Food Justice, New Orleans, Race, Whiteness
AbstractThis commentary argues for a need to go "beyond food" in research, writing, and activism on the food system. Noting a tendency within both academic and activist discourse around food to focus on "the food itself," rather than on broader structures of inequality and disinvestment, I argue that more research is needed that focuses explicitly on the ways in which institutional structures and systems (including nonprofits, schools, housing, as well as the food system) can exacerbate broad injustices, including limited food access. I draw on research experience in post–Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, USA, as well as commentary from eminent food systems scholars, to advocate for new research trajectories that utilize food as a lens for contesting broader structures of injustice, rather than advocating for more and better food as an end in itself.
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