Workshop on Feeding Cities: Ethical and Policy Issues in Urban Food Systems

Northeastern University, Boston, MA
March 27-28, 2015

For registration information, please click here.

Food defines cultures, is at the heart of religious and ethnic traditions, is central to familial and social gatherings, gives us joy (and sometimes pain), and shapes the rhythms of daily life. Of course, food is also about survival. Societies thrive – or collapse – based on ready, reliable, and equitable access to food. There is currently rising demand for food due to population growth and spreading affluence, as well as increasing production and distribution challenges, such as water and land scarcity, climate change, depletion in seafood stocks, and dependency on global food chains. All of this takes place amidst accelerating urbanization; over half the world’s population now lives in cities. Together these trends make studying urban food systems – and developing practices and policies for improving them – crucial to building socially just and ecologically sustainable societies. This workshop aims to foster cross-disciplinary inquiry on topics relevant to urban food system sustainability, health, and equity.

Registration is free, with expectations that attendees read the papers and come ready to discuss. Papers will be made available beforehand to all registered workshop participants.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Friday, March 27

8:45-9:00 Welcome

Christopher Bosso and Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University

9:00-9:45 Paper 1

Food Safety Education and Disparities in North Carolina Emergency Food

Ashley Chaifetz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Benjamin Chapman, North Carolina State University

9:55-10:40 Paper 2

The Unattainable Trifecta of Urban Agriculture

Sarita Daftary-Steel, Food Dignity Project; Hank Herrera, Center for Popular Research, Education, and Policy; Christine Porter, University of Wyoming

10:50-11:35 Paper 3

Feeding Community: A Case Study of a Shared-Use Commercial Kitchen in Eastern Connecticut

Hedley Freake and Phoebe Godfrey, University of Connecticut

11:45-12:30 Paper 4

Farm to Home: Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Access and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Home Delivery for Homebound Older Adults

Mehreen Ismail, University of California, Berkeley, and Cara Cuite, Rutgers University

1:40-2:25 Paper 5

Super‐sized Strategies for Improved Health: Exploring the Evidence of Reducing the Density of Fast Food Restaurants on Public Health

Bakeyah Nelson, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and Karen Banks, Share our Strength

2:35-3:20 Paper 6

A Tale of Three Markets:  Food Access and Food Justice in Somerville, MA

Sara Shostak, Brandeis University; Luisa Oliveira, City of Somerville; Janaki Blum, Tufts University; Chris Mancini, Groundwork Somerville; Erica Satin-Hernandez, City of Somerville

3:30-4:15 Paper 7

Sustainable Food Security in Urban Areas as A Human Rights Issue

Sandra Raponi, Merrimack College

4:25-5:10 Paper 8

Urban Indigestion: Global Interventions into Waste, Public Space and Social Policy

Jaclyn Rohel, New York University

Saturday, March 28

9:00-9:45 Paper 9

The Results and Implications of a Pilot Program to Lower Supermarket Food Waste in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone

Thomas O’Donnell, USEPA and Cabrini College; Cathy Yungmann, Cabrini College; Jonathan Deutsch, Drexel University; Solomon Katz, University of Pennsylvania

9:55-10:40 Paper 10

Possibilities for Food Sovereignty in a Metropolis

Ian Werkheiser and Shakara Tyler, Michigan State University

10:50-11:35 Paper 11

Cultivating Climate Change Resilience through Robust Urban Food Systems: Making the Case in Los Angeles

Laura Sasso, University of Duisburg-Essen

11:45-12:30 Paper 12

Population Density, Poverty, and Food Retail Access in the United States: An Empirical Approach

Parke Wilde, Joseph Llobrera, and Michele Ver Ploeg, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

12:30-1:00 Concluding remarks

Christopher Bosso and Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University

This workshop is sponsored by the Consortium on Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity and the Ethics Institute at Northeastern University, with financial and logistic support by the NU Humanities Center, College of Social Sciences and Humanities.