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Pathways to Food Dignity: Narratives Documenting Local Efforts for More Sustainable Food Systems

Case Studies

Pathways to Food Dignity: Narratives Documenting Local Efforts for More Sustainable Food Systems

Emily Paulos

Recognizing that the globalized food system dominating food production and consumption in the United States is both unhealthy and unsustainable, committed activists around the United States have for years now been exploring ways to create alternatives. The United States Department of Agriculture-funded Food Dignity project is a research, education, and extension effort bringing together five local organizations and three universities, to learn how to build healthy, sustainable food systems.

In 2015, we partnered with Food Dignity to support representatives from project sites across the country in coming together for a digital storytelling workshop. Participants shared unique and touching stories from their lives, revealing the strengths of committed individuals and the challenges they face in developing long-term solutions to the problem of our nutritionally inadequate and environmentally destructive food system.

The storytellers are using the stories to share their experience and expertise in community food production, access, and justice and their vision for equitable, democratic, and sustainable local food systems. We are collaborating with Food Dignity on the distribution of selected stories from the workshop through our existing public health and broader storytelling networks, via YouTube and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.