Do Purchases Motivated by Symbolic and Social Needs Undermine Food Sovereignty?

01 January 2013
Paper

Food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems”

Food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems” (Declaration of Nyéléni). While physical and economic needs such as secure land tenure and access to seeds must be met to achieve food sovereignty, there are also psychological needs at play. This paper examines the extent to which feelings that ones’ traditional foods and farming itself are “backwards,” “primitive,” or “low class” undermine food sovereignty by driving people to adopt purchased (often nutritionally inferior) foods.

Jill Richardson,  Freelance writer, based in San Diego Jill Richardson is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do To Fix It.

Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.