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Toward Food System Sustainability through School Food System Change: Think&EatGreen@School and the Making of a Community-University Research Alliance

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Author(s): Alejandro Rojas | Will Valley | Brent Mansfield | Elena Orrego | Gwen E. Chapman | Yael Harlap

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 3;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 763;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: food citizenship | food security | food sovereignty | food system sustainability | school food | education | community-based action research | community-engaged scholarship

ABSTRACT
This paper describes the theoretical and conceptual framework and the research and practice model of Think&EatGreen@School, a community-based action research project aiming to foster food citizenship in the City of Vancouver and to develop a model of sustainable institutional food systems in public schools. The authors argue that educational and policy interventions at the school and school board level can drive the goals of food system sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty. The complex relationship between food systems, climate change and environmental degradation require that international initiatives promoting sustainability be vigorously complemented by local multi-stakeholder efforts to preserve or restore the capacity to produce food in a durable manner. As a step towards making the City of Vancouver green, we are currently involved in attempts to transform the food system of the local schools by mobilizing the energy of a transdisciplinary research team of twelve university researchers, over 300 undergraduate and graduate students, and twenty community-based researchers and organizations working on food, public health, environmental and sustainability education.
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