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Policy Brief on Cultivating Food Sovereignty: Considerations for Research, Policy, and Practice

September 25, 2022


Food sovereignty represents an opportunity to confront the way we think about food and food systems by prioritizing food as a human right. Prevailing approaches to addressing hunger are frequently limited to food security, emphasizing that individuals should have enough food, yet more is needed to achieve population well-being.

Food sovereignty expands upon this concept, positing that communities have the right to access food that is nutritious, culturally appropriate, and sustainably produced. This means recognizing the necessity of food to promote health and well-being, valuing local food economies and community food practices, and acknowledging the historical and political factors that shape access to food. Lacking access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food is associated with many physical and mental health concerns, such as higher risk for chronic disease, greater levels of stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as poor quality of life. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing climate crisis have only exacerbated existing challenges in local and global food systems.

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