SLF114 - Food Security / Food Justice

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:27:06.276
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:27:19.227

Subject Title
Food Security / Food Justice

Subject Description
Study the causes and consequences of urban and rural food insecurity across Canada.  Examine short-term measures (foodbanks, meal programs, charitable services) and long-term food justice solutions (education, equitable incomes, affordability and accessibility of healthy food).  Get practical experience doing research or field work for a food security organization in your region.

Credit Status
One credit toward the Sustainable Local Food Certificate

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the diverse initiatives and schools of thought focused on food security and food justice.

2. Enhance community research skills and methods (surveys, interviews, participant observation) and consider involvement with food justice policy and practice.

3. Bring an informed - practical, conceptual and problem-solving - perspective to work on sustainable local and global food system projects.

4. Develop relationships and contacts with individuals and organizations working on food issues across Canada that will enable future research, crosspollination of ideas, partnerships and job opportunities.

5. Gain a sense of the creative and innovative ways that the online environment can be used for coursework. this includes, but is not limited to, powerpoint/slideshows, youtube, online research and networking, which are great skill sets for future work positions!

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Module 1
Introduction to concepts of food security and food justice
WATCH: Food Security Projects of the Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre. (2005). Thought about Food? A Workbook on Food Security and Influencing Policy. FOOD SECURITY VIDEO at (43 minutes).

Module 2
Introduction to concepts of food security and food justice
WATCH: Food Security Projects of the Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre. (2005). Thought about Food? A Workbook on Food Security and Influencing Policy. FOOD SECURITY VIDEO at (43 minutes).

Module 3
Overview of food (in) security in Canada

Federici, Silvia. (2009). Uinterview: On Capitalism, Colonialism, Women and Food Politics.
Politics and Culture, issue 2. Available online at (5 pages)

Module 4
Social and economic sustainability

Power, Elaine M. (2000). Combining Social Justice and Sustainability for Food Security.

National Farmers' Union. (2009). Canada’s Farm and Food Sectors,Competition and
Competitiveness, and a Path Out of the Net Farm Income Swamp. (9 pages)

Module 5
Environmental justice and sustainability

Explore CBAN's Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice, particularly the “resources” section

Brett, Brian. (2009). Grey Hour, the Bird God and Morning is a Community. In Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life (p.11-32). Vancouver: Greystone Books.

Norberg-Hodge, Helena, Todd Merrifield and Steven Gorelick. (2002). The Ecology of Food Production, in Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness. London: Zed Books, p. 35-50

Watch: Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of the Institute for Food & Development Policy / Food First reads from his new book, 'Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice', co-written by Raj Patel with Annie Shattuck (14 minutes).

Module 6
Food security and food justice initiatives in Canada - National

Explore the website of Food Secure Canada, particularly the pages on food security and the People's Food Policy Project

Kneen, Cathleen. (2010). Mobilisation and Convergence in a Wealthy Northern Country.- Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol 37, Issue 1. At (6 pages).

Kneen, Cathleen (2010, PODCAST). Changing Canadian Food Policy From the Ground Up: Cathleen Kneen and the People’s Food Policy Project. (PODCAST – 20min-36 minand 39min-49min).

Module 7
Food security and food justice initiatives in Canada - Local
READINGS: OPTIONAL: (if you have taken the policy course in the program you have have already covered this; a quick scan through as a reminder or primer is all that is required for this module)

Canadian Co-Operative Association. (2008). Local Food Initiatives in Canada: An Overview and Policy Recommendations. Available at (20 pages).

Blay-Palmer, A., Dwyer, M. and Miller, J. 2006. Sustainable communities: Building local foodshed capacity through improved farm to fork links. Report prepared for Frontenac and Lennox-Addington Community Futures Development Corporations, 73 pages, available online at: (Browse the appendices p.37-69)

Vancouver Foundation. (2006). The Good Food Box Story. Available at (20 pages)

Scharf, K., C. Levkoe, and N. Saul, The Stop Community Food Centre. (2010). In Every Community A Place for Food: The Role of the Community Food Centre in Building a Local, Sustainable, and Just Food System. Available at, (pages 24-37 only, the rest of the document is optional)


Nova Scotia Food Security Network. Available at aspx Just Food (Ottawa). Available at, including (2010).

Food for All: An Ottawa Community Response.

Manitoba Food Charter, available at im_id=207&si_id=43

Module 8
Future directions
Canadian Association of Food Banks. (2009). Hunger Count 2009. Available at, p. 11-16

Nelson, Erin et al (2009). Institutionalizing Agroecology: Successes and Challenges in Cuba. Agriculture and Human Values 26(3), p. 233-243

Food Security Projects of the Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and the Atlantic Health
Promotion Research Centre. (2005). Thought about Food? A Workbook on Food Security and Influencing Policy. (ALL SECTIONS AND

Roberts, Wayne and Rocha, Cecilia. (2008). Belo Horizonte: The beautiful Horizon of
Community Food Security. Alternatives, 1(3), on line link (2 pages).

Cooper, Ann. (2007). School Lunches - TED talk. Online at (20 minutes).

Module 9
Selected topic
READINGS: chosen by the students

Overview, wrap up, final comments and questions, reflections on the research experience
NOTE: Readings and schedule are subject to change.

Mode of Instruction
This subject will be delivered via the internet. This involves the use of the online materials and/or text, possible group discussions and consultation with your instructor via email. Students will be responsible for completing all online activities and participating in group discussion and working through textbook questions, as required.
Platform:  Blackboard

Prescribed Texts
No Textbook Required.

Reference Material

Required Supplies
Speakers required

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
All the academic policies of the College at which you registered apply. This includes, but is not limited to policies related to grading, supplemental exams, deferred exams and accommodations.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Discussion Board 30%
Reading Reflections (2) 10% each 20%
Project Proposal 10%
Final project 40%

No student will be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if, in more than 30% of the subjects required for graduation, the student has received a "D" grade.

  • Assignments are due on the date given by the instructor.
  • A late penalty of 10% per day is assessed for late assignments, including those not handed in at the beginning of class when due.
  • Material will not be accepted after one week following the due date and/or when the marked material is returned to students, whichever comes first.
  • Assignments are to be prepared by computer.

Absenteeism and Exams
  • Students who are absent for an examination due to an emergency (e.g., motor vehicle accident, hospitalization or death in the family) may provide official documentation within five days of the missed exam and be provided a deferred exam at a later date.  Official documentation includes a death notice or an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time expected absence and the specific reason for the absence.  Examinations missed without official documentation and approval result in a grade of zero.
  • There are no deferred options for missed tests.  

English Proficiency
  • All written work should demonstrate the following characteristics for clarity and conciseness:
-writing is consistent with the rules of English grammar
-spelling and punctuation are correct
-sentences are structured correctly
-main ideas are supported with specific, relevant examples and reasons
-work flows logically through supporting statements/paragraphs
-work is arranged in correct format (e.g., as a report, essay)
-up to 10% of the final grade may be deducted on all work if the above English competencies are not met.


Approved by: Sharon Estok