Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

First Advisor

Amy Seidl

Second Advisor

Teresa Mares

Keywords

Food Justice, Food Security, Community Growth, Life Histories, Local Economy, Social Indicators

Abstract

Since the industrial revolution, the technological innovations of human society have created a rapidly growing separation between humans and the natural world. Nowhere is this separation so poignant as in the food system. The current industrialized model of global food production has effectively transformed access to fresh food into a privilege awarded to elite, rather than a right for all humans. The conjunction of a growing inequity in access to food resources worldwide and an industrial production system that disconnects the human psyche from the origins of food, leads to the systematic discrimination toward certain communities of people both in the United States and globally. This undergraduate environmental studies research thesis seeks to explore this inequity in the community of Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York. It suggests the importance of understanding and increasing equity on a community level to help bridge the gap between socioeconomic status and race. Cooperation at all levels of food access, from production to distribution to consumption, is imperative in order to stray away from the industrial linear model of development. Using in-depth ethnographic interviews in conjunction with data and mapping analysis of consumption patterns within Fort Greene, this thesis will explore attitudes and preferences toward food distribution from a diverse group of citizens in order to gain an understanding of how perceptions differ across socioeconomic and racial lines.

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