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Food Futures

HSS-led book on advancing food security and sovereignty in N.L.


By Janet Harron

Under the leadership of Dr. Lynne Phillips, former dean, HSS, the Food Advocacy Research at Memorial (FARM) organized a pan-university meeting for researchers working on food and agricultural research to advance food security and food sovereignty in 2015.

It was a “get to know you” event where participants shared snippets of their research in three-minute summaries.  

Economist Dr. Catherine Keske, then at Grenfell Campus and now at the University of California Merced, says she was “blown away” by the scholarship.

“I approached Lynne about creating an anthology of food studies research at Memorial,” said Dr. Keske.

“We agreed that there was a need to raise awareness within the Canadian food studies literature of the Newfoundland and Labrador food system. And we felt that this book would add to the momentum of the terrific work coalescing around food systems research in the province.”

The resulting book, Food Futures: Growing a Sustainable Food System for Newfoundland and Labrador, has been published by ISER Books.

“It’s inspiring our cooks, our farmers and the next generation.” — Jeremy Charles

All are invited to attend the launch on Thursday, June 14, in the Junior Common Room of R. Gushue Hall from 3-5 p.m. 

“This book shows us how great and unique our history of agriculture is in Newfoundland,” writes renowned local chef Jeremy Charles in the book’s forward. “It’s inspiring our cooks, our farmers and the next generation. Sustainable eating and living is possible in this province, and we have the history to prove it.”

National and international interest

Dr. Keske says the team that worked on the book solicited contributions from researchers throughout the province, and that Food Futures reflects only a portion of that fine scholarship.

Dr. Catherine Keske
Photo: David Howells

“While the book advances the discourse of food security and food sovereignty at Memorial and in the province, the book is already generating considerable interest both nationally and internationally,” she said. “We hope that this has a positive impact on the availability of healthy, locally grown food in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The interdisciplinary collection draws from the research of 24 scholars in disciplines ranging from anthropology to biology. Collectively the authors offer a vision for a sustainable food system that meets the dual goals of achieving food security and food sovereignty for all.

For her part, Dr. Phillips says she is pleased that the work of FARM has resulted in the production of the book.

“The group saw a significant gap in the literature — no review or assessment of the current research on food (in)security in the province — and this book nicely fills it. Kudos to everyone involved in the project, and particularly to Catherine who has done a terrific job of shepherding all of us through the various stages of publication and to ISER for offering their generous support of the project.”

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