Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 89–98 | Cite as

Learning Democracy Through Food Justice Movements

  • Charles Z. LevkoeEmail author


Over time, the corporate food economy has led to the increased separation of people from the sources of their food and nutrition. This paper explores the opportunity for grassroots, food-based organizations, as part of larger food justice movements, to act as valuable sites for countering the tendency to identify and value a person only as a consumer and to serve as places for actively learning democratic citizenship. Using The Stop Community Food Centre’s urban agriculture program as a case in point, the paper describes how participation can be a powerful site for transformative adult learning. Through participation in this Toronto-based, community organization, people were able to develop strong civic virtues and critical perspectives. These, in turn, allowed them to influence policy makers; to increase their level of political efficacy, knowledge, and skill; and to directly challenge anti-democratic forces of control.


Canada Community gardens Democracy Food justice Grassroots organizations Poverty Social movements Toronto Transformative learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental StudiesYork UniversityStation E, TorontoCanada

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