1st Edition

Food Justice in American Cities Stories of Health and Resilience

By Sabine O’Hara Copyright 2023
    198 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book documents food insecurity in urban communities across the United States and asks whether emerging urban food and agriculture initiatives can address the food security needs of American city dwellers.

    While America has sufficient food to feed its entire population, 38 million people are food insecure, with urban communities and communities of color having long borne the brunt of food inequalities. This book traces the evolving story of food by describing the people behind food system statistics, focusing on cities and suburban communities across America. In doing so, it raises questions not only about food security but about a food economy that can foster justice and sustainability and combat hunger and waste. By linking human faces to the data, the book reveals the many connections between food insecurity and unsustainable practices. The book concludes by discussing some of the pathways toward a more sustainable and just food system by linking the food system to the larger economy and the many sectors that are connected to food. Because of these multifaceted connections, food can be a unique catalyst for creating pathways toward a more just and sustainable economy that is more aligned with nature.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of food justice, food security, urban food and agriculture, urban sustainability, and sustainable food systems more broadly.

    Chapter 1 – Introduction

          Chapter 2 – Why are people in the richest country on earth food insecure

          Chapter 3 – Who is food insecure: stories of not enough and too much food in six U.S. cities

    Chapter 4 – Food is more than food: connecting the dots between food and green cities


    Chapter 5 – The friends of food security: stories of food innovators in six U.S. cities


    Chapter 6 – How do we get there from here: pathways to the food system we want


           Chapter 7 – Conclusions


    Sabine O’Hara is a distinguished professor and Ph.D. Program Director in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia, USA. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the founding Dean of CAUSES and led the university’s efforts to build a cutting-edge model for urban agriculture that integrates urban sustainability.

    “This book is a breath of fresh air. It introduces a comparative study of socioeconomic and demographic data of six US cities and traces the alarming rates in obesity and diabetes among some of our urban residents. As is usually the case, those who are already disadvantaged bear the brunt of the negative health effects of limited food access. 

    However, the book does not stop by pointing to the problem. By examining some of the emerging innovations in the US food system, the book lays out in detail what the fertile ground would be for a sustainable and just food system, and what this future would look like: a food system that is more resourceful, regenerative, and efficient, and aligned with nature. 

    This study is a must-read for every concerned US citizen today.”  

     Steffen Lehmann, Professor, Urban Futures Lab, The University of Nevada