Saturday Afternoon Schedule
Saturday Afternoon Schedule
Location: Beverly J. Martin School (room locations TBA).
Time: Saturday 1:00 – 3:30pm, discussions will take place simultaneously
Paper Sessions: Food Policy, Access, and Systems
Abstract: The food purchasing decisions of large institutions have enduring environmental and social implications. As a land-grant university situated in an agricultural area, and housing some of the world’s leading scholars of food systems and sustainable development, Cornell University is poised to use its position as a major food provider to initiate change and to lead in the development of ethical and sustainable institutional food procurement.
Partnering with a nation-wide effort to track higher education institutional food purchasing, Cornell University’s Food Focus Committee has investigated the supply chain, sourcing, and food procurement criteria of Cornell Dining’s food purchases between January and December 2016. This work is funded by the Cornell University Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and is the product of collaboration between the Cornell University Horticulture Department and Cornell’s Procurement and Payment Services in the Division of Financial Affairs. The goal is to engage with Cornell Dining Services to support Cornell’s dedication to sustainability
We examine the geographic source of each item, and characterize the foods in categories of local, community-based, environmentally sustainable, socially just, and ethically produced. We use the results to identify opportunities for Cornell Dining to improve sourcing to be more environmentally and socially just.
It is important for Cornell Dining to increase transparency both at the consumer level and at the procurement level. Making sourcing and production information available to students dining at Cornell will enhance environmental and social responsibility in the student body. At the procurement level, the information will allow Cornell University to more deeply understand its own process of procuring food, and will help the University accomplish its commitment to environmental and social justice.
Through our work to foster collaboration between researchers, sustainability advocates, and Cornell Procurement and Payment Services, we have learned much about the process of advocating for change in an institutional food system. We would like to share insights on this experience, and propose opportunities for collaboration between local institutions.
Abstract: This paper evaluates Minnesota’s Food Access Guide to consider a food justice lens in food systems planning. Minnesota faces major racial disparities in health and economic outcomes. Primary causes of these disparities are inequities in access to healthy, affordable food as well as living wage jobs, land, and capital. Food and agriculture policies and planning practices rooted in food justice can be effective at reducing racial and class disparities. Over the past two years, statewide efforts have led to the creation of the Minnesota Food Charter, a document and associated network aiming to create policies and practices that increase healthy food access for all. The Food Access Planning Guide derives from the MN Food Charter, and it provides instructions, policies and principles on how urban and regional planners and food advocates may marshal comprehensive planning policies to promote healthy food access. The Food Access Planning Guide is one of the most robust attempts at crafting policy language in Minnesota, and could have a powerful effect on the state’s food systems–as well as inspire similar efforts across the nation. Given its importance we interrogate how the Minnesota Food Access Planning Guide promotes food justice. We start by building a food justice policy and planning framework for analysis, by building on Cadieux and Slocum’s “four key points of food justice intervention” — trauma/inequity, exchange, land and labor–and adding power and systems change as categories for analysis. By conducting archival research and a discourse analysis we assess the pros and cons of the guide using the food justice framework. While the guide contains some Food Justice principles, particularly in relation to food access, our analysis shows that it lacks a critical race and class analysis. Rather it offers a superficial representation of race in food systems planning, conceives advocacy according to the ownership of private property, and prioritizes urban development as the driving force for change. We conclude by addressing the realities of implementation and providing recommendations for how the guide –and urban and regional planners– can promote food justice and reduce health and income inequities in Minnesota and beyond.
Abstract: What role(s) do urban actors play in the development of the food sovereignty framework in particular and in food-systems change in general? Urban agriculture, while not a unified social movement in its own right, is a growing social practice surrounded by claims – including from some movements for food sovereignty – to increase food security, empower consumers in decision-making about the food system, reclaim urban lands, close nutrient cycle loops and ‘reconnect’ urban residents to nature. As such, it occupies a rich conceptual space in thinking through mechanisms to repair the “metabolic rift” between town and country, driven by urbanization, capital accumulation and the industrialization of agriculture. Through the development of three case studies of urban agriculture initiatives that deploy the language of food sovereignty in Canada and Brazil, our paper explores if, how and to what extent urban agriculture can “close the rift” by discursively and materially mobilizing the urban into agrarian struggles related to social and ecological justice and food sovereignty. On one hand, principles, practices and values related to agrarian citizenship are expressed in urban settings, as consumers and urban farmers articulate and re-assert agrarian “identities, knowledges, positions and political struggles” (Roman-Alcalá, 2015). Urban farmers bring the discourses of food sovereignty and agroecology into the city, while at the same time urban and peri-urban grower communities attract new generations who bring radical social justice discourses and networks to urban agriculture. Urban agriculture can further provide an “experiential production” context (Mincyte and Dobernig 2016) and space for the participatory embodiment of food sovereignty (Morrison 2011), through which urban actors adopt and adapt a broadening collective identity of “agrarian citizenship.” But on the other hand, some urban farming initiatives in North America, as part of growing alternative food movements, have also been widely critiqued for the exclusionary tendencies of “progressive whiteness” (Slocum 2007), diverting energy and resources away from participation in radical peasant struggles. Tensions in emergent urban agrarianisms are expressed differently across a number of interrelated urban actor positions (farmer, gardener, consumer, activist, and policy-maker). Our interrogation into whether and how the theoretical reach of food sovereignty extends into urban contexts through urban agriculture addresses the following interrelated questions: 1) what processes of urban agriculture radicalize and which ones deradicalize urban actors? 2) among different urban actors, does the practice of urban agriculture maintain conceptual separations of nature/society, urban/rural, producer/consumer or dissolve those binaries, and to what effect for urban agrarianism? 3) are urban agrarianism and rural agrarian citizenship different identity frames, if so how and what tensions exist between them? and 4) in what ways has urban agrarianism advanced and hindered food sovereignty as a political project? In unpacking the concept of urban agrarianism, our paper begins to clarify the ‘urban food question’ within the global struggle for food sovereignty.
WORKSHOPS SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Description: Our Farms, Our Stories is a 23-minute film that features the small farmers of Tioga County, NY. The project sought to raise awareness of the farms and farmers of our county by getting beyond mere production statistics; rather, we aimed to understand the stories of the farmers—why they farm, how they approach their work, challenges and opportunities. The film was one of the outcomes of an Engaged Cornell grant in which four students spent 10 weeks working with the CCE Tioga educator to interview about fifteen farmers in depth. The film features five farms that produce a range of products. It is a beautiful, quiet film that allows the farmers to shine. The film has resonated with every audience, from students to civic leaders to seniors. We will watch the film and then have a conversation about how to improve agriculture in our community by highlighting local farms and farmers.
Description: A national hero, Harriet Tubman was known as the Moses of her People because she served as a “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. Her life was dedicated to liberating enslaved people of African descent who, like her, were born into plantation agriculture labor in the American south. From the age of 6 onward, “Minty” as she was known as a child, worked as a cook, farmer and caretaker for her owners. Through determination to live as a freewoman, and free others born into slavery, Mrs. Tubman persevered against tremendous odds to liberate people over 400 people. Lesser known of Harriet’s life was her role as a farmer, nurse and professional cook: she spent the better part of the second half of her life raising money through farming and food sales to pay for her farmstead. At her Home for the Aged, in Auburn, NY she farmed fresh vegetables, heirloom apple and hawthorn trees still stand, and the kitchen is preserved as a museum. She managed a 40-head hog-farm, and held “Strawberry Socials” to raise money to pay for medicine for her patients, who received free care. She created sanctuary for and, one might argue, health sovereignty for elderly African American people as well as White people who were turned away from other care facilities in the area. In this presentation, I will demonstrate how Tubman’s Home for the Aged provides us with a historical model of food and health sovereignty by understanding and valuing her work as a farmer and cook which an overlooked yet important part of her legacy. From 1870 to 1911, Tubman lived, farmed and cared for the ill on her privately-owned property that she purchased in Auburn, NY. As of 2017, the property is now a US National Historic Park.
In this presentation, I will present on historical and archeological findings about foodways at the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in order to highlight the important role that food played in the liberation work of Tubman’s life in the Finger Lakes. Additionally, I will present the myriad food metaphors that accompany historical archives of her life. “I felt like a blackberry in a pail of milk,” she said after placing the winning bid for her farm parcel at a public auction in Auburn. I will begin by doing a brief cooking demonstration of one of her favorite dishes, Corn Bread, and serve it to the participants at the end of the workshop.
Description: This workshop will discuss various perennial crops which can contribute to both food security and climate change resilience. Crops to be discussed include tree fruit, nuts, perennial wheatgrass and perennial forages.
Facilitator: Brian Caldwell, Sustainable Cropping Systems lab, Cornell University
Description: Seed, the foundation of food & of civilization, is now a commodity after millennia of being shared as a commons. After losing over 80% of the genetic diversity of our agricultural crops in the last century, adaptation & imagination have never been so critical. Come be inspired by the collaborations between organic farmers, seed companies, chefs, food banks & universities that are strengthening our food system in the Finger Lakes, even as our climate changes. [Everyone who attends leaves with a complimentary Fruition seed packet.]
Facilitator: Petra Page-Mann
Bio: Raised in the Finger Lakes of New York, Petra Page-Mann spent over a decade traveling the world, working for one of the smallest seed companies in the world & also one of the largest before returning to co-found Fruition Seeds in 2012. Be inspired by 350+ varieties at www.fruitionseeds.com and follow Fruition Seeds on Instagram & Facebook. If she’s not farming she is singing, on her bike, hunting mushrooms or sharing a feast with a friend.
Description: A Farmer and A Chef demystifies the process of making delicious and wholesome food with minimal equipment, local ingredients and simple processes.
Facilitator: Brad Marshall will be presenting. He is a co-owner of the Piggery Butcher Shop and runs a 600-head pasture-raised pig farm in Trumansburg NY. He was trained at the French Culinary Institute and is a former Cornell trained geneticist.