Cultivating Food Equity

Bangles and Berries, Meena Kadri, 2009, Unmodified

Despite producing 70% of the world’s food, small-scale farmers remain undernourished, as do their neighbors throughout the Global South. Improving food security cannot be done by increasing agricultural production alone; a systems approach is needed to advance access to nutritious, culturally meaningful food. To cultivate food equity, we work with both local stakeholders, such as farm operators, and international influencers, like the UNFAO, studying, developing, and implementing cross-sector policies-in-action.

What is Food Equity?

By Samina Raja

Food equity is the expansive concept that all people have the ability and opportunity to grow and to consume healthful, affordable, and culturally significant foods. In an equitable food system, all community members are able to grow, procure, barter, trade, sell, dispose and understand the sources of food in a manner that prioritizes culture, equitable access to land, fair and equitable prices and wages, human health, and ecological sustainability. Food equity requires that food systems be democratically controlled and community stakeholders  determine the policies that influence their food system.  

What is a Community Food System?

A community food system is the soil-to-soil system that enables the production, processing, distribution, acquisition, and consumption of food, and management of food waste. A CFS depends on natural resources, technologies, cultural norms, governance structures, policies and laws that shape and influence how food moves from farm to plate. An equitable CFS enhances the environmental, economic, social, and health equity of a place and its inhabitants. In the Global South, where hunger and malnutrition remain a pressing problem, community food systems are rapidly changing, creating both challenges and opportunities. Because of its complexity and breadth, community food systems are ripe for transdisciplinary scrutiny and innovation. 

In cities across the United States and in countries around the world, communities lack the ability and opportunity to access healthful, affordable, and culturally significant foods. In particular, food inequity leads to broken food systems that heighten undernourishment and hunger in low- and middle-income countries. 

Articles and Reflections

Presentations

Developing a new urban agenda in Quito Ecuador at UN Habitat III, Camile Brown

Dealing with disparities in food acquisition practices among refugees, Alex Judelsohn

Our Working Solutions

Agriculture, F Delventhal Clagett Farm Fall, 2014

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8/15/17
Twenty faculty fellows participated in the 2017 UB Food Equity Ideas Lab workshop, January 23-25, 2017. Teams of 3-5 individuals created innovative, unconventional, dynamic research proposals related to public health and community food systems in the Global South.
12/6/17
Published in Geography Research Forum, “Legal Pluralism, Land Tenure and the Production of “Nomotropic Urban Spaces” in Post-colonial Accra, Ghana” explores the legal duality that exists in urban Accra, Ghana, reflected in its customary and statutory legal land systems. The author communicates two key arguments: 1) ‘truly’ informal spaces in Accra, Ghana may only apply when both statutory and customary legal land systems are violated, and 2) the urban poor have little or no motivation to comply with customary and/or statutory legal land systems because of increasing land prices and other bureaucratic processes which increase transaction costs pertaining to land. 

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Our Team

Faculty Fellows

Diana Aga

Henry M. Woodburn Professor of Chemistry; Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Chemistry

611 Natural Sciences Complex

Phone: 716-645-4220

Email: dianaaga@buffalo.edu

So Ra Baek

Assistant Professor

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Hayes A 19

Email: sorabaek@buffalo.edu

Martha Bohm

Assistant Professor

Architecture

319 Hayes Hall

Phone: 716-829-5214

Email: marthabo@buffalo.edu

Ying (Jessica) Cao

Assistant Professor

Division of Health Services Policy and Practice, Epidemiology and Environmental Health

268G-H Farber Hall

Phone: 716-829-5369; Fax: 716-829-2979

Email: ycao25@buffalo.edu

Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah

Assistant Professor

Urban and Regional Planning

Alex Judelsohn

Research Associate

Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab

Isok Kim

Assistant Professor

Social Work

667 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-1252

Email: isokkim@buffalo.edu

Rajiv Kishore

Associate Professor

Management Science and Systems

325N Jacobs Management Center

Phone: 716-645-3507; Fax: 716-645-6117

Email: rkishore@buffalo.edu

Lucia Leone

Assistant Professor

Community Health and Health Behavior

333 Kimball Tower

Phone: 716-829-6953

Email: lucialeo@buffalo.edu

Sara Metcalf

Associate Professor

Geography

115 Wilkeson Quad

Phone: 716-645-0479

Email: smetcalf@buffalo.edu

Heather Orom

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Community Health and Health Behavior

304 Kimball Tower Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: 716-829-6682; Fax: 716-829-6040

Email: horom@buffalo.edu

Harvey Palmer

Chair and Associate Professor

Political Science

514 Park Hall

Phone: 716-645-8449

Email: hpalmer@buffalo.edu

Samina Raja

Professor

Urban and Regional Planning

233C Hayes Hall

Phone: 716-829-5881

Email: sraja@buffalo.edu

John Ringland

Associate Professor

Mathematics

244 Mathematics Building

Phone: 716-645-8773; Fax: 716-645-5039

Email: ringland@buffalo.edu

Sarah Robert

Associate Professor

Department of Learning and Instruction

514 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-4046

Email: sarah@buffalo.edu

Debabrata (Debu) Talukdar

Professor

Marketing

234B Jacobs Management Center

Phone: 716-645-3243

Email: dtalukda@buffalo.edu

Hua (Helen) Wang

Associate Professor

Communication

309 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-1501

Email: hwang23@buffalo.edu

Marion Werner

Associate Professor

Geography

111 Wilkeson Quad

Phone: 716-645-0475

Email: wernerm@buffalo.edu

Wenyao Xu

Assistant Professor

Computer Science and Engineering

330 Davis Hall

Phone: 716-645-4748

Email: wenyaoxu@buffalo.edu

Student Associates

Subashni Raj

PhD Candidate

Urban and Regional Planning

Erin Sweeney

Graduate Assistant

Community for Global Health Equity

Wit Wichaidit

PhD Candidate

Epidemiology and Environmental Health