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Exploring the 'interface' between traditional and alternative food systems.
Laura Gareau (author)David Connell (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
Master of Natural Resources & Environmental Studies (MNRES)
Natural Resources & Environmental Studies
This study explores the interface' between First Nations traditional food systems and agricultural alternative food systems. Motivated by concerns about health, food security, ecological integrity and cultural heritage, both First Nations peoples and local food activists are engaging in activities, programs and policy-making to address food-related issues, yet for different reasons. In light of rising health concerns, contaminated resources and a declining land-base, First Nations peoples are recovering and revitalizing their traditional food systems. Concurrently, food localism has emerged as an alternative to the dominant industrial model of agricultural production. These two distinct food systems operate on a primarily local scale and promote healthy lifestyles and ecosystems by allowing citizens to exert greater control over the accessibility, safety and nutritive value of their food. This study aims to characterize the relationship between traditional and alternative food systems through semi-structured interviews with key informants and good activists involved or knowledgeable with both food systems. The interviews revealed parallels between the two systems on many issues, including methods of acquiring or producing food, language used and other defining qualities, and objectives relating to health and the environment however, differences relating to culture, history and identity were stressed repeatedly. Through examples, the interface was articulated as a collaboration, interaction or overlap between the two systems. When the interface took the form of collaborations or interactions, the boundaries between the two food systems were clearly defined. When it represented an overlap or shared space, those boundaries were fuzzy and there was a sense of concern both to underline the distinctions between the two systems and to highlight their parallels. As two food systems based around proximity, they are bound to share other qualities while remaining distinctly different. While there is a
The original print copy of this thesis may be available here: http://wizard.unbc.ca/record=b1465553
Food habits -- British Columbia.Food supply -- British Columbia.Indians of North America -- Food -- British Columbia.Alternative agriculture -- British Columbia.