Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 457–470 | Cite as

Integrating food security into public health and provincial government departments in British Columbia, Canada

  • Barbara Seed
  • Tim Lang
  • Martin Caraher
  • Aleck Ostry
Article

Abstract

Food security policy, programs, and infrastructure have been incorporated into Public Health and other areas of the Provincial Government in British Columbia, including the adoption of food security as a Public Health Core Program. A policy analysis of the integration into Public Health is completed by merging findings from 48 key informant interviews conducted with government, civil society, and food supply chain representatives involved in the initiatives along with relevant documents and participant/direct observations. The paper then examines the results within the context of historic and international trends and theoretical models of food policy, community food security, and applied policy research. Public Health re-emerged as a driver of food security in BC—both as a key player and in positing the public’s health as a driver in food security and food systems. While Public Health’s lead role supported an increase in legitimacy for food security in BC, interviewees described a clash of cultures between Public Health and civil society. The clash of cultures occurred partly as a result of Public Health’s limited food security mandate and top down approach. Consequently civil society voice at the provincial level was marginalized. A social policy movement toward a new political paradigm—regulatory pluralism—calls for greater engagement of civil society, and for all sectors to work together toward common goals. A new, emerging policy map is proposed for analyzing the dynamics of food security and health promotion initiatives in BC.

Keywords

Community food security Public health Policy analysis Regulatory pluralism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Partial funding for THIS research was provided by the Isabel Loucks Foster Public Health Bursary and NEXUS (a multidisciplinary unit on social contexts of health behavior, funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research).

References

  1. Allen, P. 1999. Reweaving the food security safety net: Mediating entitlement and entrepreneurship. Agriculture and Human Values 16: 117–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, P. 2004. Together at the table: Sustainability and sustenance in the American agri-food system. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, M., and J. Cook. 1999. Community food security: Practice in need of theory. Agriculture and Human Values 16: 141–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BC Ministry of Environment, and Climate Action Secretariat. 2008, 2010. Climate action plan: Highlights retrieved June, 2008, from http://www.livesmartbc.ca/attachments/highlights.pdf.
  5. BC Ministry of Health Services. 2004. Public health act proposal: Reviewing BC public health legislation, backgrounder.Google Scholar
  6. BC Ministry of Healthy Living, and Sport. Undated. BC meat inspection regulation retrieved October, 2009, from http://www.hls.gov.bc.ca/protect/meat_inspection.html.
  7. Bellows, A.C., and M.W. Hamm. 2003. International effects on and inspiration for community food security policies and practices in the USA. Critical Public Health 13(2): 107–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boudreau, F.G. 1947. Nutrition in war and peace. Paper presented at the conference of state and provincial authorities of North America, Quebec City, Canada. www.milbank.org/quarterly/830409boudreau.pdf. http://www.milbank.org/quarterly/830409boudreau.pdf.
  9. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 2003. The future of public health in Canada: Developing a public health system for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.irsc.gc.ca/e/19573.html.
  10. Caraher, M. 2008. Guest editorial: Food and health promotion: Lessons from the field. Health Education Journal 67(1): 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cepede, M. Undated. FAO—The first twenty-five years retrieved Dec 8, 2005.Google Scholar
  12. Coburn, D. 2000. Income inequality, social cohesion and the health status of populations: The role of neo-liberalism. Social Science and Medicine 51(1): 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Community Food Security Coalition. August 2005. Community food security coalition webpage retrieved November, 2005, from http://www.foodsecurity.org/index.html.
  14. Dahlberg, K.A. 2001. Democratizing society and food systems: Or how do we transform modern structures of power? (presidential address). Agriculture and Human Values 18: 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dietitians of Canada and Community Nutritionists Council of British Columbia. 2006. The cost of eating in BC. Vancouver.Google Scholar
  16. Diouf, J. Undated. Dimensions of need retrieved November, 2005, from http://www.fao.org/docrep/u8480e/U8480E03.htm.
  17. FAO. 1996. World food summit retrieved 2006, November 1, from http://www.fao.org/wfs/index_en.htm.
  18. Government of British Columbia. 2000. 1998/99 Annual report. Google Scholar
  19. Government of British Columbia. 2006. Strategic plan 2006/07; 2008/09. Retrieved June, 2007, from http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2006/stplan/#Goal3.
  20. Gunningham, N., and D. Sinclair. (2002). Reconfiguring environmental regulation. Leaders and laggards: Next generation environmental regulation, 189–204. Sheffield: Greenleaf.Google Scholar
  21. Hambidge, G. 1955. The story of FAO. New York: Van Nostrand Company Inc.Google Scholar
  22. Hamm, M.W., and A.C. Bellows. 2003. Community food security and nutrition educators. Journal of Nutrition Education Behaviour 35: 37–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hassanein, N. 2003. Practicing food democracy: A pragmatic politics of transformation. Journal of Rural Studies 19(1): 77–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koc, M., and R. MacRae. 2003. CFND 403 course notes. Ryerson University.Google Scholar
  25. Koc, M., R. MacRae, E. Desjardins, and W. Roberts. 2008. Getting civil about food: The interactions between civil society and the state to advance sustainable food systems in Canada. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 3(2/3): 122–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lang, T. 1999. The complexities of globalization: The UK as a case study of tensions within the food system and the challenge to food policy. Agriculture and Human Values 16: 169–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lang, T. 2005a. What is food and farming for? The re-emergence of health as a key policy driver. In New directions in the sociology of global development, ed. F. Buttel, and P. McMichaels, 11: 123–145. New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  28. Lang, T. 2005b. Food control or food democracy? Re-engaging nutrition with society and the environment. Public Health Nutrition 8(6 (A)):730–737.Google Scholar
  29. Lang, T., D. Barling, and M. Caraher. 2001. Food, social policy and the environment: Towards a new model. Social Policy and Administration 35(5): 538–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lang, T., and M. Heasman. 2004. Food wars: The global battle for mouths, minds and markets. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  31. League of Nations. 1937. Final report of the mixed committee of the league of nations on the relation of nutrition to health, agriculture and economic policy. Geneva: League of Nations.Google Scholar
  32. MacRae, R. 1999. Policy failure in the Canadian food system. In For hunger-proof cities, eds. Koc, M., R. MacRae, L. Mougeot, J. Welsh, 182–194. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.Google Scholar
  33. MacRae, R. 2011. A joined-up food policy for Canada. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 6: 424–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Maxwell, S. 1996. Food security: A post-modern perspective. Food Policy 21(2): 155–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Milio, N. 1990. Nutrition policy for food-rich countries: A strategic analysis. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Muller, M., A. Tagtow, S. Roberts, and E. Macdougall. 2009. Aligning food systems policies to advance public health. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 4: 225–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Orr, J.B. 1936. Food, health and income: Report on a survey of adequacy of diet in relation to income. London: MacMillan and Co Limited.Google Scholar
  38. Orr, S.J.B. 1943. Food and the people (Vol. 3). W.C.I.: The Pilot Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  39. Ostry, A. 2006. Nutrition policy in Canada, 1870–1939. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
  40. Passmore, R. 1980. Obituary notice: Wallace Ruddell Aykroyd. British Journal of Nutrition 43(2): 245–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Porter, M., and M. Kramer. 2011. Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review (January–February):63–77.Google Scholar
  42. Provincial Health Officer. 2006. Food, health and well-being. Provincial health officer’s annual report 2005. BC Ministry of Health.Google Scholar
  43. Provincial Health Services Authority. 2007a. Core public health programs: Air quality, food safety, health emergency management and food security. Retrieved from http://www.phsa.ca/NR/rdonlyres/76D687CF-6596-46FE-AA9A-A536D61FB038/22663/200607CorePublicHealthProgramsPublicDocumentforPos.pdf.
  44. Provincial Health Services Authority. 2007b. A review of policy options for increasing food security and income security in British Columbia: Provincial Health Services Authority.Google Scholar
  45. Rice, J., and M. Prince. 2000. Changing politics of Canadian social policy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  46. Ritchie, J. 2011, June 26.Google Scholar
  47. Ritchie, J., and L. Spencer. 1994. Qualitative data analysis for applied policy research. In Analyzing qualitative data, ed. A. Bryman, and R. Burgess, 173–194. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ritchie, J., L. Spencer, and W. O’Connor. 2003. Carrying out qualitative analysis. In Qualitative research practice. A guide for social science students and researchers, eds. Ritchie, J. and J. Lewis, 219–262. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  49. Robertson, A., and M. Minkler. 1994. New health promotion movement: A critical examination. Health Education Quarterly 21(3): 295–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Scheuerman, W. 2010. Globalization. The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2010/entries/globalization/.
  51. Seed, Lang, Caraher, Ostry. 2013. Integrating community food security into public health and provincial government departments in British Columbia, Canada. Agriculture and human values, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  52. Turnell, S. 2000. F.L. McDougall: Eminence Grise of Australian economic diplomacy. Australian Economic History Review 40(1): 51–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. United Nations. Undated. Canada and the UN: Lester pearson’s role in the UN & FAO; Section I: Formation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Retrieved December 8, 2005, from www.unac.org/en/link_learn/canada/pearson/part_ii.asp.
  54. Wekerle, G.R. 2004. Food justice movements: Policy, planning and networks. Journal of Planning Education and Research 23: 378–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yin, R. 2003. Case study research: Design and methods, third edition (Vol. 5). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Seed
    • 1
  • Tim Lang
    • 1
  • Martin Caraher
    • 1
  • Aleck Ostry
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Food PolicyCity UniversityLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations