Panel IA: Food and Agriculture
Monday, March 16, 2020; 10:30-11:45
Room MB 9B, 9th floor of the John Molson Building (MB) at 1450 Ave. Guy
As governments are witnessing how increasing climatic variability is affecting agricultural productivity, there is growing debate over the kind of transition that needs to happen in agriculture. A dominant discourse advanced by the World Bank is the proposal of “Cimate-Smart Agriculture” (CSA), which proposes a set of agrarian practices and technological changes that prioritize productivity, mitigation, and adaptation. More recently, a fourth dimension is emphasized that promotes gender mainstreaming by encouraging conditions to promote equal access to women in the agricultural labour market. This paper takes a feminist political economic analysis approach for an examination of the existing literature on gender in Climate-Smart Agriculture. Specifically, I examine how CSA's uncritical promotion of market-based solutions will undermine the capacity of agrarian female labour to control over their social reproduction. In order to develop my argument, I analyze the experiences of agrarian female labour in Pakistan who are attempting to maintain control over social reproduction as a means of subsistence in the face of climate change and increasing capitalist penetration in agriculture. The paper concludes with some reflections on combining concerns for sustainability and equity.
Anthropogenic disturbance causes changes in species composition relative to adjacent natural patches and reduces their biotic heterogeneity. Furthermore, land use management can influence changes in biodiversity beyond the targeted species. In the last decades, management practices in coffee plantations have come from traditional practices where coffee was grown below accompanying (shade) trees, to intensified monocultures in which coffee plants grow exposed to the sun. Previous studies have shown that the latter is a major driver of biodiversity loss and associated ecosystem services. On the other hand, shade trees can act as potential shelters and facilitate dispersal of organisms, mitigating biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. In our study, we assessed the impact of coffee plantation management practices on the taxonomical, phylogenetic and functional composition of ant communities, an ecologically dominant group and crucial biological pest controller in these agroecosystems. We compared the composition of ant communities found in 8 sun-grown plantations and 8 shade-grown plantations with 8 nearby forest patches in the mountains of southern Colombia. Our results show that sun-grown coffee plantations change taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional composition of ant communities when compared to forest patches or shade-grown plantations. Additionally, we find that sun-grown plantations taxonomically and functionally homogenize ant communities, but not at the phylogenetic level. Our results indicate that pluralistic approaches for characterizing the changes of biodiversity in agroecosystems can be used to better inform land management strategies focusing on minimizing biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. Moreover, our findings provide evidence for traditional practices buffering the impoverishment of multiple diversity facets after forest conversion.
Using a vegetable garden as a medium, the mind.heart.mouth. collective garden project used research-creation as a methodology to explore how garden-based pedagogies can be used in immersive experiential learning to build awareness about the ways our food is produced and to create positive sensory experiences to promote greater connections with natural environments and food security.
Food chain restaurants are important players in the goal for a more sustainable food system. This exploratory study addresses food waste and food surplus in the food-service sector in order to understand the challenges faced by the restaurant industry as it grapples with the issue of food waste, and to begin to frame some suggestions for improvements. While preventing food waste is not an easy task, reduction is necessary whenever possible to reduce the unsustainable social, economic and environmental impacts of food waste. The study was conducted at a large chain restaurant in the United Kingdom throughout July 2019. The aim was to investigate how much food waste the restaurant generated over a week, the factors contributing to the food waste, and the waste reduction or management practices that were already in place. In order to assess food waste specific to this restaurant, a total of 148 diners completed a survey, interviews were conducted with three staff members and regular weight measurements over a week were taken for five separately categorised food waste bins. Results revealed that 240 kg of food waste was created during the study week, indicating that the site may generate as much as 12,000 kg of food waste per year. Food measurements indicated that plate waste accounted for a significant portion of the total food wasted, followed by kitchen leftovers, kitchen preparation, bar waste and mistakes waste. Diners who both responded to the survey and left food following their meal stated that portion sizes were often too big. The interviews revealed that kitchen leftovers are created as a result of working in a tight-for-time setting, and that the corporate level standards for the chain hinder the pub/restaurant’s ability to reduce and recycle further food surplus. This study is unique for this field because it discusses the effect of food waste management and reduction at a chain pub/restaurant.
Collective gardens are emerging public and common places that are becoming popular in the neighborhoods. This research conducts the Third Place framework in order to explore the case study of a collective garden in Montreal in terms of its social micro-dynamics. It attempts to demonstrate the operation of community spaces like collective gardens that are practicing a self-organizing mode of management. It will do this by investigating the following questions: Does an autonomous mode of management facilitate social inclusion in third places? What are the different hierarchies and power dynamics or unwritten codes? What are social relationships and how do people interact? More specifically, this research aims to identify how autonomous modes of management facilitate social inclusion practices in third places and ensure equitable access to urban spaces. Hence, I contend that collective gardens, which favor a wide array of non-hierarchical social interactions, based on not-for-profit exchanges, provide potential low-key platforms for the informal social gatherings of individuals at the neighborhood scale, which can serve in particular as transitional spaces towards social integration. Thus, collective gardens constitute prototypical platforms for socially sustainable urban living.
This event is brought to you by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre with the support of the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies; the Faculty of Arts and Science; the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Communities and Cities; the John Molson School of Business; and the Departments of Biology; Communication Studies; Economics; Geography, Planning and Environment; Management; and Political Science at Concordia University.