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Assessing Flagstaff’s local food system resilience: Recommendations for bringing social equity to the forefront

Freeman, Brooke (2018) Assessing Flagstaff’s local food system resilience: Recommendations for bringing social equity to the forefront. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Food in the US is controlled by a few companies that are putting profits over people and the environment. This dominant system is predicated on agriculture that uses large amounts of water while degrading the soil by using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The increasing awareness of the downfalls of highly mechanized agriculture production has sprouted alternative food movements that focus on smaller production with environmental health a top concern. However, within the past several years these movements have been criticized for failing to consider social equity. Principles within agroecology, food security, food justice and food sovereignty aim to acknowledge the racial conditions of food access and health. The racial conditions of minority groups are ridden with disinvestment and violent histories that result in food deserts. Uncertainties associated with climate change will require a holistic approach to alternative food movements that balances environmental health and social equity. The southwest particularly will see severe water shortages resulting in unknown consequences to the national and global food network. This threat calls for cities such as Flagstaff to become more self-sufficient in food production. Resilience theory situates this study in bringing together agroecology, food justice, food security, and food sovereignty in an analysis of Flagstaff’s local food system. This study aims to analyze the resilience of Flagstaff’s food system by looking at local growers and the organizations that are supporting them. My research identifies the need for supporting more distribution efforts to low-income groups in addition to the need of diversifying the growing community in general. The Hispanic and Indigenous groups within Flagstaff have been largely left out of the small growing community. If Flagstaff is to support more growers, these populations need to be considered both as producers and consumers. This research is limited by not looking at the community gardens within Flagstaff and recommends this in future research as little research has been done on food production in Flagstaff. The research has brought seven main recommendations for Flagstaff to increase food system resilience.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: alternative food movements; climate change; food justice; food security; local food; resilience theory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 20:52
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5430

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