Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development <p>The&nbsp;<strong><em>Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development</em><em>&nbsp;</em>(JAFSCD),</strong> ISSN 2152-0801, is an <strong>open access, international, peer-reviewed</strong> <strong>journal</strong> focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals. JAFSCD emphasizes best practices and tools related to the planning, community economic development, and ecological protection of local and regional agriculture and food systems, and works to bridge the interests of practitioners and academics. Articles are published online as they are approved, and are gathered into quarterly issues for indexing purposes. JAFSCD is an open access, online-only journal; all readers may download, share, or print any articles as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with the Creative Commons <a title="CC BY 4.0" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a> license.</p> Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, a project of the Center for Transformative Action en-US Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2152-0801 <p>The copyright to all content published in JAFSCD belongs to the author(s). It is licensed as <a title="Creative Commons BY 4.0 license" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a>. This license determines how you may reprint, copy, distribute, or otherwise share JAFSCD content.</p> IN THIS ISSUE: The Power of Food Justice <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>In this winter-spring issue, we feature a number of papers that illustrate <em>The Power of Food Justice, </em>including two papers about young African American farmers as well as the perspectives of food project stakeholders of color and of farmworkers. As depicted on our cover, farmers of color are growing as a share of all farmers in the United States, despite daunting challenges for these intrepid <em>agripreneurs</em>.</p> <p>We begin the issue with columns that raise two very provocative questions. In <em>A New Day for Dairy</em>? <strong>Teresa Mares</strong> and guest co-columnist <strong>Brendan O’Neill</strong> continue to highlight the work of the grassroots group Migrant Justice and the Milk with Dignity program to bring economic justice to dairy farmworkers in Vermont. Can a price premium for milk produced under fair labor conditions move the needle in a positive direction for the ailing dairy industry? By the way, in her newly published book, <em>Life on the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont</em> (University of California Press), Teresa describes the difficulties of immigrant farmworkers living near the Canadian border. . . .</p> Duncan Hilchey ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-04-07 2019-04-07 8 4 1 3 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.024 Challenges and Sustainability of Wheat Production in a Levantine Breadbasket <p>The farming sector in Lebanon, particularly grains production, is threatened by environmental, socio-economic, and political factors that have led to a high dependence on food imports, thereby under­mining national food security. This study focuses on wheat production in its natural Mediterranean habitat (the Levant) and its sustainability in the West Bekaa through value chain analysis that aims to identify constraints and opportunities in the production system. The analysis is based on a survey at the level of the producers to identify the planted wheat varieties, wheat production systems, land tenure systems, marketing channels, socio-economic factors of farmers, and different types of wheat by-products. This study reveals important challenges facing the sustainability of wheat production, including farmers resorting to hybrid wheat varieties, the dependence of farmers on wheat subsidies as an incentive, the lack of land tenure security, and the virtual absence of well-organized cooperatives. On the other hand, our evidence suggests a strong dependence among wheat farmers on integrated production systems that promote agricultural sustainability. We con­clude this report with recommendations to secure the sustainability of wheat production in West Bekaa in particular, and in Lebanon in general.</p> Salwa Tohmé Tawk Mabelle Chedid Ali Chalak Sarah Karam Shadi Kamal Hamadeh ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-04-03 2019-04-03 8 4 193 209 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.011 Understanding Food Labels <p>Have you ever made a purchase based on a food label? Everyone gives food labels a cursory glance, but for the many consumers who wish to make purchasing decisions that reflect their personal and social values, food labels are critical. How do you decipher the myriad of new symbols, logos, certifi­cation claims, and sometimes meaningless informa­tion presented in today’s marketplace? How do you know which labels contain statements that are not regulated by governmental agencies? Can you differentiate third-party certifications from private company claims? In this commentary, we categorize and review a broad array of new label varieties, claims, certifications, and regulations. We then describe a new online, interactive resource for con­sumers to help them improve their understanding of food labels. Finally, we inventory additional teaching tools and resources that may provide educators with other food label curricula for consumers.</p> Carol Hamilton Brian Raison ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-28 2019-03-28 8 4 13 22 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.022 Transforming the Food System Is the People’s Work: Experiential Knowledge Shows Us the Way <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>This volume, available online as chapters or in full, is designed to support people’s partici­pa­tion in decision-making in their localities and around their food and food system. It showcases examples that balance efforts of people with pro­cess knowledge (e.g., academics and other profes­sionals) with those who have experiential knowl­edge (i.e., lived experience). The latter are the everyday experts of the title. Their stories, projects, lessons, and challenges run through 28 chapters and demonstrate the editorial collective’s interest in affirming multiple epistemologies and methods. By de-centering the professional experts, the editors fulfill their “call for the recognition and affirmation of Indigenous, local, traditional and other non-mainstream knowledge systems” (p. xix). Instead of reporting knowledge simply based in science and scientism, the editors have brought together a group of author participants who share an under­standing of a broader set of knowledges driven by co-production in nonhierarchical dialogue, includ­ing multiple indigenous epistemologies. If you have read, or written, about how society needs a trans­formation in how we go about addressing social justice and environmental sustainability or regen­eration in the face of mounting global challenges, this book will be a valuable contribution to your reading list and you might find inspiration here. In fact, it would be hard not to. . . .</p> Branden Born ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-28 2019-03-28 8 4 229 231 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.019 The Time for Macroeconomics in Municipal Food Policy <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>It’s interesting—I’ve never felt like so much of an outsider as being an agricultural economist working on municipal food policy. And I’m a black woman in the United States. Prior to being the food policy and program coordinator for the City of Indianapolis, I was a research economist who studied local food systems, alternative energy, and climate change. Now, as a food policy practitioner, I have found that relevant aspects of classical macroeconomic theory often go ignored in muni­cipal food policy, particularly the concept of economic change over time. . . .</p> Shellye Suttles ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-28 2019-03-28 8 4 29 32 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.023 Cultivating a Network of Citizen-Scientists to Track Change in the Sonora-Arizona Foodshed <p>Over the past couple of years, the University of Arizona has launched both a new under­graduate degree program in Food Studies and a Center for Regional Food Studies (CRFS). The mission of the CRFS is “to integrate social, behavioral, and life sciences into interdisciplinary studies and community dialogue regarding change in regional food systems. We involve students and faculty in the design, implementation, and evalua­tion of pilot interventions and participatory community-based research in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands foodshed surrounding Tucson, a UNESCO-designated City of Gastronomy, in a manner that can be replicated, scaled up, and applied to other regions globally.”</p> <p>The CRFS’s annual <em>State of the Tucson Food System</em> (STFS) report seeks to support the efforts of diverse social actors and institutions working across various sectors of the Sonora-Arizona borderlands foodshed by collecting and synthe­sizing the most recent data available to underscore successes, problems, and barriers. The intended use of the report is to help inform policy at various scales and within both informal and formal policy settings. . . .</p> Megan A. Carney Keegan C. Krause ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-28 2019-03-28 8 4 23 24 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.021 What Can Be: Stakeholder Perspectives for a Sustainable Food System <p>Any multistakeholder initiative that aims to build the basis for change in a food system, regardless of geographic scale, requires an understanding of what is important to stakeholders, how they view the boundaries of the system, and what changes they feel are needed. An assessment of stakeholder perspectives of the Phoenix Valley food system was conducted as an initial step in a process of food system coalition-building. The objectives of the research were to explore how active partici­pants in the food system visualized a “sustainable food system” and to juxtapose their perspectives on food system sustainability with those in the academic literature to create an initial picture of food sustainability. Respondents emphasized the importance of education, local food, reducing corporate power, and a strong desire to build a sense of community to better serve vulnerable communities. Nevertheless, the responses also revealed the difficulty of conceptualizing food system boundaries for intervention and the confla­tion of realist and idealist perspectives on what food systems are or could be. Stakeholders placed considerable weight on localism and the power of education and “demand constraint” on improving food system outcomes, while also attributing the root cause of Phoenix’s problems to broader-scale structural factors that were outside of their control or capacity to influence. This case study describes the potential utility of conducting such preliminary assessments in other cities, allowing stakeholders to reflect on their interests, agency, and capacities in the food system space prior to any efforts to build consensus and take collective action. We argue that this process is a crucial first step in any work on building alternative food systems, as it allows hidden areas of contestation (beliefs, values, goals) to arise. This enables participants to begin addres­sing differences and fostering trust, cooperation, and inclusiveness—thus ensuring the longevity of the coalition or group.</p> Jesus Garcia-Gonzalez Hallie Eakin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-22 2019-03-22 8 4 61 82 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.010 Net Yield Efficiency: Comparing Salad and Vegetable Waste between Community Supported Agriculture and Supermarkets in the UK <p>Food security is high on the global agenda. Two factors make it particularly pressing: the continuing rise in the global population, and the failure to adequately feed the current one. An area that has been the focus of much recent attention has been food waste; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that as much as a third of all food is lost or wasted. This paper argues that by taking a food system approach that accounts for yields as well as loss and waste in distribution and consumption, we can compare the contribution of different food systems to food security. A novel concept of “net yield efficiency” (NYE) is introduced that accounts for this. We present an illustrative case study of the levels of fresh vegetable and salad waste in the supermarket-controlled food system compared with a commu­nity supported agriculture (CSA) scheme. This case study explores whether the CSA and its members are less wasteful than the supermarket system. The study found that when all stages of the food system were measured for waste, the CSA dramatically outperformed the supermarket system, wasting only 6.71% by weight compared to 40.7–47.7%. Even accounting for difficulties in estimating waste, the findings underline the differences between these systems. On this basis, the paper argues that the NYE measure provides a more accurate picture of food system performance than current measures, which tend to focus on yield alone.</p> Nigel Baker Simon Popay James Bennett Moya Kneafsey ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-22 2019-03-22 8 4 179 192 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.013 Hidden in Plain Sight: Learning from Chinatown’s Produce Distribution System <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>New York’s Chinatown has a century-old produce distribution system that supplies the city with more than 200 types of extremely low-cost fresh fruits and vegetables that are sourced from hundreds of small- and midsize biodiverse farms and distributed to a network of vendors and restaurants. Yet this remarkable supply chain has been overshadowed by the gigantic Hunts Point terminal market and the distribution channels operated by the major supermarket chains. It is also overlooked by advocates of direct farm-to-consumer food retail. Valerie Imbruce’s <em>From Farm to Canal Street </em>unmasks this “alternative” food network, offering important lessons for policy­makers interested in increasing access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food. . . .</p> Nevin Cohen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-22 2019-03-22 8 4 227 228 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.020 The EarthBox Project in Grayson County, Virginia <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>In 2014, Kathy was contacted by Michelle Stamper, coordinator of the local Feeding America mobile pantry program in western Grayson County, Virginia. This pantry serves clients one Monday evening a month at a local school. Feeding America Southwest Virginia sends a truckload of food from Abingdon, Virginia, and volunteers assemble food boxes that are then placed directly in clients’ vehicles. Michelle had considered why the food pantry was needed, when rural Grayson County has such a rich agricultural history. When she reached out to Kathy, she asked if the nonprofit Kathy leads, Grayson LandCare, could help her teach pantry clients how to grow some of their own food. She said that many of them grew up with gardening, perhaps at their grandparents’ home, but very few gardened cur­rently and some may not even have known how to grow vegetables on their own. . . .</p> Kathy Cole Liza Dobson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-16 2019-03-16 8 4 25 27 10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.004