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Sources – Regional Food Systems

Indigenous peoples’ food systems: the many dimensions of culture, diversity and environment for nutrition and health.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment Rome 2009 © FAO 2009. ISBN 978-92-5-106071-1

Indigenous peoples’ food systems

Food systems of Indigenous Peoples who retain connection to long-evolved cultures and patterns of living in local ecosystems present a treasure of knowledge that contributes to well-being and health, and can benefit all humankind. This book seeks to define and describe the diversity in food system use, nutrition and health in 12 rural case

studies of Indigenous Peoples in different parts of the world as a window to global Indigenous Peoples’ circumstances. A procedure for documenting Indigenous Peoples’ food systems was developed by researchers working with the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE) at McGill University, Canada, and the FAO. The procedure was adapted and applied in case studies located in Canada, Japan, Peru, India, Nigeria, Colombia, Thailand, Kenya, and the Federated States of Micronesia. The collective intent of this documentation is to show the inherent strengths of the local traditional food systems, how people think about and use these foods, the influx of industrial and purchased food, and the circumstances of the nutrition transition in indigenous communities. This research was completed with both qualitative and quantitative methods by Indigenous Peoples and their academic partners in the context of the second International

Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted in 2007 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World. Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2010.

This edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World focuses on people living in a group of countries in which the incidence of hunger is particularly high and persistent, and which face particular challenges in meeting the MDG targets – namely countries in protracted crisis. These countries are characterized by long-lasting or recurring crises, both natural and human-induced, and limited capacity to respond. In the 22 countries identified by this report as being in protracted crisis

(or containing areas in protracted crisis), the most recent data show  that more than 166 million people are undernourished, representing nearly 40 percent of the population of these countries and nearly 20 percent of all undernourished people in the world.

Fair food: Growing a healthy sustainable food system for all by Oran B Hesterman.

Published by Public Affairs Books Website: www.publicaffairsbooks.com. 2011, ISBN 978 1610390064 (Hb), US$24.99

Fair food

Fair food sets out four principles by which America’s food system ought to run: equity, diversity, ecological integrity and economic viability. In illustrating the first of these principles, Hesterman cites the case of Philadelphia’s Healthy Corner Store initiative, a free scheme for shop owners that provides them with refrigeration units to stock fresh fruit-salads, assistance in changing shop layout to make shelf space for healthy foods, marketing materials, consulting services and training to improve business practices.


This is complemented by Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative, the first state policy that provides grants and loans to expand healthy food choices in under-served neighbourhoods. This focus on the things that are working makes Fair food an inspiring and enjoyable read. There are numerous books setting out ‘what’s wrong’ with global food production, but Hesterman – while offering a powerful summary of such issues from a north American perspective – describes initiatives across the country that are putting things right. They may be isolated cases but, in offering a model both to policymakers and to grassroots consumers, they deserve attention in the US and beyond.

Food sovereignty and uncultivated bio diversity in South Asia.

Essays on the Poverty of Food Policy and the Wealth of the Social Landscape.

Farhad Mazhar, Daniel Buckles, P.V. Satheesh, and Farida Akhter Academic Foundation/IDRC 2007. ISBN 978-8-17188-558-6. e-ISBN 978-1-55250-337-9. 84 pp.

Food sovereignty and uncultivated bio diversity in South Asia

This publication explores the meaning of agriculture and guides the reader into new territory, where food, ecology, and culture converge. In the food systems of South Asia, the margin between cultivated and uncultivated biodiversity dissolves through women’s day-to-day practice of collecting and cooking food, constituting a feminine landscape. The authors bring this practice to light, and demonstrate the value of food production and consumption systems that are localized rather than globalized.

Based on extensive field research in India and Bangladesh, with and by farming communities, the book offers both people-based and evidence-based perspectives on the value of ecological farming, the survival strategies of the very poor, and the ongoing contribution of biodiversity to livelihoods. It also introduces new concepts such as “the social landscape” and “the ethical relations underlying production systems” relevant to key debates concerning the cultural politics of food sovereignty, land tenure, and the economics of food systems. The authors are leading activists and  accomplished researchers with a long history of engagement with farming communities and the peasant world in South Asia and elsewhere.