Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 607–620

“Si no comemos tortilla, no vivimos:” women, climate change, and food security in central Mexico


DOI: 10.1007/s10460-014-9503-9

Cite this article as:
Bee, B.A. Agric Hum Values (2014) 31: 607. doi:10.1007/s10460-014-9503-9


In recent years, it has become clear that food security is intimately related to complex environmental, social, political, and economic issues. Even though several studies document the impact of climate on food production and agriculture, a growing segment of research examines how climate change impacts food systems and associated livelihoods. Furthermore, while women play a crucial role in providing food security for their families, little research exists that examines the nexus among gender relations, climate change, and household food security. This study investigates these relationships by asking: (1) how is the production and reproduction of knowledge about food security and climate change shaped by gender and lived experience, and (2) how does this knowledge influence attitudes and strategies for maintaining food security in a changing climate? Drawing on the results of research in two communities in central Mexico, I argue that women’s perceptions of and strategies for maintaining food security are derived from their socio-political, environmental, and economic contexts. This study contributes to both the growing literature on the gender dynamics of climate change, as well as debates about the role of bioengineered seeds in helping farmers to adapt to a changing climate.


Food security Knowledge Gender Climate change Adaptive capacity Mexico 



Centro de Desarrollo Agropecuario A.C. (Center for Agricultural Development)


El Niño Southern Oscillation


Genetically modified


Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (National Institute for Forest, Agriculture, and Fisheries Research)


Programa de Apoyos Directo al Campo (Program for Direct Subsidies to the Countryside)


Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food)


United States

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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