Food for Justice: Power, Politics, and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy is a Junior Research Group based at the Institute for Latin American Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin. It is funded for the period of 5 years (01.04.2019-30.03.2023) by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Food for Justice looks into social mobilization targeted at injustices in the food system and into social and political innovations that address inequalities undermining food security such as class, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality.
There is a growing politization of the production, distribution and consumption of food, because food relations are structured by economic, social, political, cultural and environmental inequalities. Increasingly, citizens perceive the global food system as part of the historical causes of the ecological crisis and the persisting hunger in the world. Although reasons for that are long known (the use of food for profit, the gap between production and consumption, conflicts over land and water, exploitative labour relations, the energy matrix and waste generation), research on food security and bioeconomy tend to rely on the same, searching for technological fixes to a profit-oriented model exploiting living matter. What is needed to deepen the debate is more knowledge about which food system citizens desire, which solutions are already there that address social concerns and how to redirect public policies towards a fair and sustainable food system.
- To approach the complexity of the relations that would contribute to food security in a bioeconomy while taking into account social inequalities, political disputes over agrarian futures and justice claims related to the food system.
- To build up knowledge about which food system citizens desire, which solutions are already there that address social concerns and how to redirect public policies towards a fair and sustainable food system.
- To map innovative practices that deal with inequalities that undermine food security.
- To contribute to public policies, inform new mentalities and practices, and identify technological and social needs to ensure food security with environmental and social justice.
Central research questions
- What are the main justice claims against inequalities in the food system that mobilize citizens and consumers in different world regions?
- Which social innovations emerged from those concerns?
- How can successful social innovations influence public policies?
Combining theoretical perspectives on global inequalities with social movement research on food justice, Food for Justice will look at challenges and solutions both in Europe (with focus on Germany) and in Latin America (focusing on Brazil). On the one hand, major normative challenges will be identified in case studies of social mobilisation and critical consumption over food. On the other hand, the research will map and analyse social and political innovations such as agroecology and alternative food networks, as devised by civil society groups and public policies to achieve food security. In short, Food for Justice looks into social mobilization targeted at injustices in the food system and into social and political innovations that address inequalities undermining food security such as class, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality.