Future Food System Research Priorities: A Sustainable Food Systems Perspective from Ontario, Canada
Keywords:Governance, Integration, Scaling Out, Scaling Up, Sustainable Food
Given the range and complexity of pressures on food systems across the globe, we suggest that future research on sustainable food systems can be clustered under three broad topics: the need for integration across multiple jurisdictions, sectors, and disciplines that includes different models of food systems and community visions of an integrated food system; the need for focus on tensions and compromises related to increased numbers and reach of sustainable food systems by scaling out and up; and the need for appropriate governance structures and institutions. Comparative research that works directly with community-based organizations to co-create and apply shared research tools and then engage in common assessment projects offers ways to develop more connected scholarship. More extensive work using concept maps, participatory action research, life-cycle analysis, and urban/rural metabolic flows may help to develop, animate, and answer future research questions in more integrated ways, and will build on opportunities emerging from more inclusive, connected, and multidisciplinary approaches. Work in Ontario helps to illustrate research exploring the three themes through embedded connections to communities of food in the ongoing research project Nourishing Communities.1
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