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Food justice in America

Front cover of the book “Food Justice in American Cities” (2023) with photo of an urban garden with large buildings in the background.

This book explores food insecurity in urban communities through their stories trying to understand food security, justice, sustainability, and waste moving towards a more just and sustainable economy. 


This book explores why, in the richest country in the world, there are still 38 million people who are food insecure. Urban communities and their stories are the subject of this book which seeks to understand food security, justice, sustainability, and waste in order to move towards a more just and sustainable economy. 


Publisher’s summary

This book documents food insecurity in urban communities across the United States and asks whether emerging urban food and agriculture initiatives can address the food security needs of American city dwellers.

While America has sufficient food to feed its entire population, 38 million people are food insecure, with urban communities and communities of colour having long borne the brunt of food inequalities. This book traces the evolving story of food by describing the people behind food system statistics, focusing on cities and suburban communities across America. In doing so, it raises questions not only about food security but about a food economy that can foster justice and sustainability and combat hunger and waste. By linking human faces to the data, the book reveals the many connections between food insecurity and unsustainable practices. The book concludes by discussing some of the pathways toward a more sustainable and just food system by linking the food system to the larger economy and the many sectors that are connected to food. Because of these multifaceted connections, food can be a unique catalyst for creating pathways toward a more just and sustainable economy that is more aligned with nature.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of food justice, food security, urban food and agriculture, urban sustainability, and sustainable food systems more broadly.



O’Hara, S. (2023) Food Justice in American Cities: Stories of Health and Resilience. Routledge.


Read more here and see our blogs on city food regionsurban food systems and food and power.

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