Toward Alternative Food Systems Development: Exploring Limitations and Research Opportunities

  • Cayla Albrecht University of Guelph
  • Rylea Johnson University of Guelph
  • Steffi Hamann University of Guelph
  • Lisa Ohberg University of Guelph
  • Michael CoDyre University of Guelph
Keywords: Alternative Food Systems, Farm Labor, Food Security, Food Skills, Local Foods, Producer-Consumer Relationships, Scale, Traditional Foods

Abstract

In recent years, interest in alternative food systems (AFS) has grown both in the popular imagination and in the academic literature. The literature is rife with justifications (or hopes) for the continued and necessary expansion of AFS in the face of unsustainable conventional food provisioning. Within the next five years it will be important to determine how to make alternatives more stable in order for them to play a more prominent role in battling the food insecurity and other social and economic challenges equated with agro-industrial foods. The goal of this commentary is to demonstrate some highly context-specific challenges and possible research trajectories in both the global South and the global North. We argue that in the global South more robust data collection can strengthen local food systems and traditional foods research, while in the global North, food skills and food literacy research may be important for scaling up and making alternative food systems more stable without compromising important social and economic ideals.

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Author Biographies

Cayla Albrecht, University of Guelph
Masters Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Guelph; Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada; +1-519-824-4120 ext. 56719.
Rylea Johnson, University of Guelph
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political Science and International Development Studies, University of Guelph.
Steffi Hamann, University of Guelph
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Geography and International Development Studies, University of Guelph.
Lisa Ohberg, University of Guelph
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Geography and International Development Studies, University of Guelph.
Michael CoDyre, University of Guelph
Masters Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Guelph.
Published
2013-09-03
How to Cite
Albrecht, C., Johnson, R., Hamann, S., Ohberg, L., & CoDyre, M. (2013). Toward Alternative Food Systems Development: Exploring Limitations and Research Opportunities. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 3(4), 151–159. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.034.019