New research by UB Food Lab member Carol E Ramos-Gerena in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Food policies should be informed by those who they intend to serve, but policy-making processes remain exclusive to privileged voices, knowledge, and experiences. This article bridges food and policy scholarship with the critical literacy work of Paulo Freire to answer: how do we understand literacies tied to food policy? What does (or, what could) it mean to be food policy literate? In a new JAFSCD article, Carol E. Ramos-Gerena proposes five principles for conceptualizing critical food policy literacy that support food system transformations.
The paper suggests that efforts to promote critical food policy literacy must facilitate communities to (a) “read the world,” (b) “read the word,” (c) be critically aware of food policy processes and systems, (d) learn contextually and through authentic practice, and (e) enable people to negotiate and transform the world (their context) collectively.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY, PRACTICE, AND RESEARCH
Possessing knowledge on engaging with food policy processes is not commensurate with actual engagement. Thus, structural barriers to community participation must also be addressed. Food system planners and educators, particularly at the municipal level, should support locally-based citizen food organizations to engage in food policy. This support must go beyond assessing communities’ food policy literacy. Instead, it must intend to bridge the gap to ensure critical readiness for food policy engagement.
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Jennifer R. Whittaker, Jill K. Clark, Sarah SanGiovannni, Samina Raja
The United Nations estimates that by 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. In the face of continuing urbanization, how will communities meet the fundamental need for good food? What kinds of public policies, structures, and systems will ensure equitable and just access to food? We argue that urban universities have a responsibility and an extraordinary opportunity to help create equitable community food systems by amplifying community-led planning and policy to strengthen such systems. Drawing on case studies involving the University at Buffalo State University of New York system and its community partners, we describe the ways in which community-university partnerships can leverage policy change to support stronger food systems.
Read Online: https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/muj/article/view/21471
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Journal Special Issues Guest Edited
- Raja, Samina, Jill Clark, Julia Freedgood, and Kimberley Hodgson (Guest Editors). 2018. Special Issue on Local Government in Food Systems Work. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 8 (Supplement 2), October 2018.
- Raja, Samina, Kevin Morgan, and Enjoli Hall (Guest Editors). 2017. Special Issue on Planning for Equitable Urban and Regional Food Systems. Built Environment. 43 (3).
Books and Monographs
- Raja, Samina, Erin Sweeney, Yeeli Mui, and Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah. 2021. Local Government Planning for Community Food Systems: Opportunity, Innovation, and Equity. Food and Agriculture Organization.
- World Health Organization. 2018. WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. [Role: Member, Guideline Development Group]
- The National Academies Committee on Health Impact Assessment. 2011. Improving Health in the United States: The Role of Health Impact Assessment. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC. Forthcoming. [Committee members and authors: D. Bear, R. Bhatia, S. Cantor, B. Cave, A. Diez Roux, C. Dora, J. Fielding, J Graff Zivin, Richard Jackson (Chair), J. Levy, J. Quint, S. Raja, A. Schulz, and A. Wernham.]
- Raja, Samina, Branden Born, and Jessica Kozlowski Russell. 2008. A Planners’ Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning: Transforming Food Environments, Building Healthy Communities. Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Series, No. 554. Chicago, Illinois: American Planning Association. 112 p.
- Raja, Samina, Marcia Caton Campbell, Alexandra Judelsohn, Branden Born, and Alfonso Morales (eds). Planning for Equitable Urban Agriculture in the USA: A New Ethic in City Building. Springer Press. Forthcoming (expected April 2024).
1. Raja, Samina. 2013. “A Review of Sustainable Food Planning: Evolving Theory and Practice.” Journal of the American Planning Association 79(30):3-4.
Articles in Popular Press and Other Venues
- Raja, Samina and Robert Shibley. “Standing in Unity and Action: Black Lives Matter.” June 20, 2020.
- Raja, Samina, and Chunyuan Diao. 2016. “A Community-Led View of Urban Agriculture Policy Making.” Urban Agriculture Magazine 31.
- Raja, Samina, Femke Hoekstra, and Rene Veenhuizen. 2016. “Editorial. Giving Space to Use Urban Space: Community Involvement in Urban Planning and Policy Development to Strengthen Urban Food Systems.” Urban Agriculture Magazine 31.
- Raja, Samina. 2015. “Why all Cities should have a Department of Food.” The Conversation. April 3, 2015.
- Raja, Samina and Heather Wooten. 2010. “Food systems planning – an opportunity for planners in private practice.” Newsletter, Private Practice Division, American Planning Association.
- Raja, Samina. 2008. “Food for Thought” Final Word. UB Today.
- Raja, Samina. 2008. Section in an article titled “A question for the boss: What questions should employees ask themselves about the health of their workforce?” Impact: Improving Health for Population and Individuals. School of Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Newsletter. April 2008.
- Breinlich, Angelika and Samina Raja. 2006. “Sometimes applesauce is about more than just apples.” Buffalo Rising, Online Magazine. November 2006.
- Raja, Samina. 2005b. “Food for Growth” Intersight: Journal of the School of Architecture and Planning, 8 (2005): 112-117.
Epstein, Leonard H., Elizabeth Handley, Kelly K. Dearing, Davi,d D. Cho; James Roemmich, Rocco Paluch, Samina Raja, Youngju Pak, and Bonnie Spring. 2006a. “Purchases of food in youth: Influence of price and income.” Psychological Science 17(1): 82-89
Raja, Samina. 2006. “Seeking common ground in smart growth and food system planning: Lessons from the Food for Growth studio” in “Teaching Smart Growth at Colleges and Universities: A Set of Model Course Prospectuses.” US Environmental Planning Agency (Electronic publication.)
Epstein, L., Samina Raja, Sam Gold, Rocky Paluch, and James Roemmich. 2006. “Reducing sedentary behavior: The relationship between park area and the physical activity of youth.” Psychological Science. Aug 2006, 17(8):654-659
Roemmich, James, Leonard Epstein, Samina Raja, Li Yin, Jodie Robinson, and Dana Winiewicz. 2006. “Association of access to parks and recreational facilities with the physical activity of young children.” Preventive Medicine. (43) 6: 437-441
Roemmich, James, Leonard Epstein, Samina Raja, and Li Yin. 2007. “The neighborhood and home environments: Disparate relationships with physical activity and sedentary behaviors in youth.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 33(1): 29-38
Raja, Samina, Changxing Ma, and Pavan Yadav. 2008a. “Beyond food deserts: Measuring and mapping racial disparities in the food environment.” Journal of Planning Education and Research. 27(4): 469-482. Included in ‘Editors’ Picks’ column of the Environment: Science and policy for Sustainable Development journal (Sep/Oct 2008).
Raja, Samina, Michael Ball, Justin Booth, Philip Haberstro, and Katherine Veith. 2009. “Leveraging neighborhood-scale change for policy and program reform in Buffalo, New York.” Special issue on Active Living by Design. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 37(6S).