Masters Thesis

Community food security: a new social movements approach

This thesis explores a burgeoning social movement aimed at shaping the processes of food production and distribution, the Alternative Agrifood Movement. As a collection of initiatives, this movement seeks to mitigate environmental and social injustices perpetuated by the conventional agrifood system. An investigation of the movement is contextualized in social theory surrounding New Social Movements and Whiteness. Research for this thesis focused on Alternative Agrifood Movement as experienced in the Humboldt Bay Region in Northern California. This research revealed tension between the two most prominent concepts of the alternative agrifood movement, sustainable agriculture and food security. In response to this tension, I promote the concept of community food security as a mediator. I illustrate how the community food security concept partners efforts of sustainable agriculture and food security. I stress that combining sustainable agriculture and food security work is fundamental for the success of the alternative agrifood movement. I conclude by stressing the importance of approaching food issues from a human rights framework while highlighting the role of race and whiteness throughout alternative agrifood efforts.