Advertisement

Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 308–320 | Cite as

Introduction to the Symposium on American Food Resilience

  • Gerald G. Marten
  • Nurcan Atalan-Helicke
Article

Abstract

The resilience of the American food supply—the ability of the food system to withstand shocks or stresses that could lead to disruption or collapse—is a matter of genuine concern. While all seems well with supermarkets stocked to the brim, changes in the food system and our environment during recent decades have created risks that are no longer hypothetical possibilities. They are with us now. The 27 articles in the Symposium on American Food Resilience explore the vulnerability and resilience of food production and distribution from a diversity of perspectives. Four central questions provide a framework for the exploration:

• What are the main lines of vulnerability?

• What are leverage points for reducing the risks and improving the capacity to deal with breakdowns if they occur?

• What is already being done by government, civil society, and the private sector to reduce the risks?

• What can scientists, teachers, and other environmental and food system professionals do through research, education, community action, or other means to make the food system and food supply more resilient?

Some of the articles use case studies that highlight various kinds of disturbances: influenza pandemic, war, nuclear-reactor catastrophe, natural disasters (e.g., floods and earthquakes), and crop failure due to drought or other climatic perturbations. Lessons for improving resilience are drawn from the experiences. Other articles examine the significance of globalization, food system consolidation, diversity, and food storage; the interplay of efficiency, adaptive capacity, sustainability, and resilience; the potential and limitations of local or regional food systems to compensate for shortcomings in the mainstream food system; organizational learning and networking, integrating local food systems with the mainstream, channeling promising innovations into the mainstream; and success stories and the lessons they offer. The articles afford a wealth of material that can be mined by researchers, teachers, practitioners, and policy makers for application to their own circumstances.

Keywords

Food system Food security Food crisis Food supply Food supply chains USA Resilience Sustainability 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge:

• Sasha Adkins, Kip Curtis, Todd LeVasseur, Alesia Maltz, Bryan McDonald, Peter Jacques, Mohammed Rabbi, Krystyna Stave, Brian Thomas, and Teddie Phillipson-Mower, whose presentations on food resilience at the 2013 AESS conference set in motion the process leading to this symposium (Online Resource 1).

• Ed Teixeira (former State Civil Defense Chief) and Danny Tengan (former State Civil Defense Hurricane Program Manager) at Hawaii State Civil Defense (now Hawaii Emergency Management Agency) for providing information about hurricane preparedness in Hawaii.

• All authors of the articles in this symposium for bridging the gap from their particular expertise and experience to casting light on the food resilience issue and for their patience and endurance during a lengthy manuscript preparation process, providing feedback on one another’s manuscripts and persevering through numerous revisions of their own.

• Nearly 100 colleagues who provided prompt and thoughtful reviews of the manuscripts for the journal’s peer review process.

Supplementary material

13412_2015_310_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (13.5 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 13,851 kb)
13412_2015_310_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (585 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 585 kb)
13412_2015_310_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (183 kb)
ESM 3 (PDF 183 kb)

References

  1. Ackerman-Leist P (2013) Rebuilding the foodshed: how to create local, sustainable, and secure food systems. Chelsea Green, White River Junction, VTGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams J (2013) When the lights go out: cyber threats to critical Infrastructure. Econ Dev J 12(3):49–56Google Scholar
  3. Alkon AH, Agyeman J (eds) (2011) Cultivating food justice: race, class, and sustainability (food, health, and the environment). MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  4. Allison G, Zelikow P (1999) Essence of decision: explaining the Cuban missile crisis. Addison-Wesley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson M (2015) The role of knowledge in building food security resilience across food system domains. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  6. Atalan-Helicke N (2015) Seed exchange networks and food system resilience in the United States. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  7. Belyakov A (2015) From Chernobyl to Fukushima: risks for food security policies after nuclear disasters. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0284-2
  8. Brown L (2012) Full planet, empty plates: the new geopolitics of food scarcity. W.W. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Burch D, Lawrence G (eds) (2007) Supermarkets and agri-food supply chains: transformations in the production and consumption of foods. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  10. Candy S, Biggs C, Larsen K, Turner K (2015) Modeling food system resilience in Australia. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  11. Chalk, P (2004) Hitting America’s soft underbelly: the potential threat of deliberate biological attacks against the U.S. agricultural and food industry. RAND Nat Def Res Inst, 65 p. http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2004/RAND_MG135.pdf
  12. Chiang SL (2009) A village called Versailles (film, 68 minutes). http://avillagecalledversailles.com
  13. Clapp J (2012) Food. Polity, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  14. Cockrall-King J (2012) Food and the city: urban agriculture and the new food revolution. Prometheus, Amherst, NYGoogle Scholar
  15. Conway G (2012) One billion hungry: can we feed the world? Cornell University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Cribb J (2011) The coming famine: the global food crisis and what we can do to avoid it. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  17. Dunning R, Bloom D, Creamer N (2015) The local food movement, public-private partnerships, and food system resiliency. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0295-z
  18. Dyball R (2015) From industrial production to biosensitivity: the need for a food system paradigm shift. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  19. Dyball R, Newell B (2015) Understanding human ecology: a systems approach to sustainability. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Endres AB, Endres JM (2009) Homeland security planning: what victory gardens and Fidel Castro can teach us in preparing for food crises in the United States. Food Drug Law J 64:405–39Google Scholar
  21. Fagan B (2001) The Little Ice Age: how climate made history 1300–1850. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. FFIEC (2007) Interagency statement on pandemic planning. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Washington, D.C. https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2008/fil08006a.pdf
  23. Foley J (2014) A five-step plan to feed the world. Natl Geogr 225(5):27–60Google Scholar
  24. Fraser EDG (2015) #foodcrisis: a graphic novel about global food security. Evan Fraser. https://feedingninebillion.com/evan-fraser
  25. Fraser E, Legwegoh A, Krishna KC (2015) Creating a more resilient food system: a critical evaluation of food storage as a way of maintaining stability in light of climate change and economic shocks. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0276-2
  26. Fuglie KO, Heisey PW, King JL, Pray C E, Day-Rubenstein K, Schimmelpfennig D, Wang SK, Karmarker-Deshmush R (2011) Research investments and market structure in the food processing, agricultural input, and biofuel industries worldwide. U.S. Dept Agricultural Economics Research Service ERR-130. http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/199879/err130_1_.pdf
  27. Gardner B (2013) Global food futures: feeding the world in 2050. Bloomsbury, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Gibson M (2012) The feeding of nations: re-defining food security for the 21st century. CRC Press, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Goerner SJ, Lietaer B, Ulanowicz RE (2009) Quantifying economic sustainability: implications for free enterprise theory, policy and practice. Ecol Econ 69:76–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gottlieb R, Anupama J (2013) Food justice (food, health, and the environment). MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  31. Green R, Berardi G (2015) Does the global food system have an Achilles’ heel? How regional food systems may support resilience in regional disasters. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  32. Gunther F (2001) Fossil energy and food security. Energy Environ 12:253–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Heinemann JA, Massaro M, Coray DS, Agapito-Tenfen SZ, Wen JD (2013) Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest. Int J Agric Sustain 12(1):71–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hendrickson M (2015) Resilience in a concentrated and consolidated food system. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  35. Hodbod J, Eakin H (2015) Adapting a social-ecological resilience framework for food systems. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0280-6 Google Scholar
  36. Hoy C (2015) Agroecosystem health, agroecosystem resilience, and food security. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  37. Huff A, Beyeler W, McNitt J, Kelley N (2015) How resilient is the United States food supply to pandemics and what can society do to increase resilience? J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0275-3
  38. Ingram J, Ericksen P, Liverman D (eds) (2010) Food security and global environmental change. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  39. Jacques PJ (2015) Civil society and food security. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0294-0 Google Scholar
  40. Jervis, R (2011) Six years after Katrina, pockets of New Orleans languishing. USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-08-25/Six-years-after-Katrina-pockets-of-New-Orleans-languishing/50141660/1
  41. Kelley NS, Osterholm, MT (2008) Pandemic influenza, electricity, and the coal supply chain. http://cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/downloads/cidrap_coal_report.pdf
  42. Keppen D, Dutcher P (2015) The 2014 Drought and water management policy impacts on California’s Central Valley food production. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0283-3 Google Scholar
  43. Kneafsey M, Dowler E, Lambie-Mumford H, Inman A, Collier R (2013) Consumers and food security: uncertain or empowered. J Rural Stud 29:101–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ladner P (2011) The urban revolution: changing the way we feed cities. New Society, Gabriola Island, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  45. Lagi M, Karla Z, Bar-Yam B, Bar-Yam Y (2011) The food crises and political instability in North Africa and the Middle East. New England Complex Systems Institute. http://necsi.edu/research/social/food_crises.pdf
  46. Lengnick L (2015a) Resilient agriculture: cultivating food systems for a changing climate. New Society, Gabriola Island, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  47. Lengnick L (2015b) Vulnerability of the U.S. food system to climate change. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0290-4 Google Scholar
  48. Lengnick L (2015c) Metropolitan food webs: a resilient solution to the climate change challenge? J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  49. MacFall J, Moore S, LeVasseur T, Walker J, Lelekacs J (2015) Toward resilient food systems through increased agricultural diversity and local sourcing. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  50. MacMahon A, Smith K, Lawrence G (2015) Connecting resilience, food security and climate change: lessons from flooding in Queensland Australia. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0278-0 Google Scholar
  51. Maltz A (2015) “Plant a victory garden: our food is fighting:” lessons of food resilience from world war. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0293-1
  52. Marten G (1988) Productivity, stability, sustainability, equitability and autonomy as properties for agroecosystem assessment. Agric Syst 26:291–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Marten GG (2001) Human ecology: basic concepts for sustainable development. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  54. Marten GG (2005) Environmental tipping points: a new paradigm for restoring ecological security. J Policy Stud (Japan) 20:75–87Google Scholar
  55. Marten GG, Atalan-Helicke N (2015) Conclusions from the symposium on American food resilience. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  56. Marten GG, Brooks S, Suutari A (2005) Environmental tipping points: a new slant on strategic environmentalism. World Watch 18(6):10–14Google Scholar
  57. McDonald B (2011) Food security. Polity, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  58. McKinnon A (2006) Life without trucks: the impact of a temporary disruption of road freight transport on a national economy. J Bus Logist 27:227–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. McMichael P (2013) Food regimes and agrarian questions. Fernwood, HalifaxCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Miller M, Solin J. (2015) The power of story for adaptive response—marshaling individual and collective initiative to create more resilient and sustainable food systems. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  61. Naylor RL (ed) (2014) The evolving sphere of food security. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  62. Neff R (ed) (2014) Introduction to the U.S. food system: public health, environment, and equity. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  63. NISAC (2007) Impact of pandemic influenza-induced labor shortages on the food production/distribution system. National Infrasructure Simulaiton & Analysis Center. http://www.slideshare.net/TheSupplychainniche/table-of-contentsdoc-4266151
  64. O’Grada C (2010) Famine: a short history. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  65. Oppenheimer C (2011) Eruptions that shook the world. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Patel R (2012) Stuffed and starved: the hidden battle for the world food system. Melville House, BrooklynGoogle Scholar
  67. Peacock K (2012) Food security. Infobase Learning, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  68. Perkins S (2008) Disaster goes global: the eruption in 1600 of a seemingly quiet volcano in Peru changed global climate and triggered famine as far away as Russia. Sci News 174(5):16–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pfeiffer DA (2006) Eating fossil fuels: oil, food, and the coming crisis in agriculture. New Society, Gabriola Island, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  70. Pinstrup-Andersen P, Watson DD (2011) Food policy for developing countries: the role of government in global, national, and local food systems. Cornell University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  71. PSEPC (2005) Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada Incident analysis IA05-001: Impact of September 2000 fuel price protests on UK critical infrastructure. IWS – The Information Warfare Site. http://iwar.org.uk/cip/resources/PSEPC/fuel-price-protests.htm
  72. Pullman M, Wu Z (2012) Food supply chain management: economics, social and environmental perspectives. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  73. Qualset CO, Shands HL (2005) Safeguarding the future of U.S. agriculture: the need to conserve threatened collections of crop diversity worldwide. University of California Genetic Resources Conservation Program. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/repositoryfiles/SafeguardingFutureUSAg-54956.pdf
  74. Ringler C, Biswas A, Cline S (eds) (2010) Global change: impacts on water and food security (water resources development and management). Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  75. Rosen C, Stock P, Campbell H (eds) (2013) Food systems failure: the global food crisis and the future of agriculture. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  76. Rotz S, Fraser E (2015) Resilience in the North American food system: assessing the impacts of agricultural industrialization on food system vulnerability. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0277-1 Google Scholar
  77. Ruhf K (2015) Regionalism: a New England recipe for a resilient food system. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  78. Smith, EM (2012) Great famine of 1315 vs the sun. Musings from the Chiefio. https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/great-famine-of-1315-vs-the-sun
  79. Stave K, Kopainsky B (2015) A system dynamics approach for examining mechanisms and pathways of food supply vulnerability. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0289-x Google Scholar
  80. Swagerty, T (2014) Why has the adoption of non-pesticide management been more successful in some villages than others? An update on the dissemination of non-pesticide management through Andhra Pradesh, India. The EcoTipping Points Project. http://ecotippingpoints.org/our-stories/indepth/india-pest-management-nonpesticide-neem.html#adopt
  81. Tainter J (1988) The collapse of complex societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  82. Thompson D (2013) Cheap eats: how America spends money on food. The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/cheap-eats-how-america-spends-money-on-food/273811
  83. Tolley B, Gregory R, Marten GG (2015) Promoting resilience in a regional seafood system: New England and the Fish Locally Collaborative. J Environ Stud SciGoogle Scholar
  84. Vaccari DA (2009) Phosphorus: a looming crisis. Sci Am 300(6):54–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Walker B, Salt D (2012) Resilience practice: building capacity to absorb disturbance and maintain function. Island Press, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Walker RE, Keane CR, Burke JG (2010) Disparities and access to healthy food in the United States: a review of food deserts literature. Health Place 16:876–884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Ward, J (2015) Can urban agriculture usefully improve food resilience? Insights from a linear programming approach. J Environ Stud Sci. doi: 10.1007/s13412-015-0306-0
  88. Wilde P (2013) Food Policy in the United States: an introduction. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  89. Winne M (2008) Closing the food gap: resetting the table in the land of plenty. Beacon, BostonGoogle Scholar
  90. Witze A, Kanipe J (2014) Island on fire: the extraordinary story of a forgotten volcano that changed the world. Pegasus, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  91. Wood G (2014) Tambora: the eruption that changed the world. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  92. Zhang, Z (2013) Cybersecurity policy for the electricity sector: the first step to protecting our critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Boston University J Science Technology Law 319Google Scholar

Copyright information

© AESS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EcoTipping Points ProjectKailuaUSA
  2. 2.Environmental StudiesSkidmore CollegeSaratoga SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations