UBC Undergraduate Research

The sustainability of UBC Food System Collaborative Project II : a research design and methodology for assessing the sustainability of UBC Food System Blond, Danielle; Drissler, Michelle; Hubert, Freddy; Lam, Ellen; Ngai, May; Schimpl, Tanya; Varghese, Thara


The focus of this report is a proposed research project based on the long-term sustainability of the UBC Food System. As a team we assessed the current food system with the knowledge we had gained through the required course readings and the UBC Campus Sustainability Office. The goals we found important, in order for UBC to move along a continuum from unsustainable to sustainable, were defined by our underlying value assumptions and our community-based approach. We felt that focusing on the three spheres of sustainability (ecology, economy and social entities), was too broad of an approach to accurately measure the state and progression of the UBC food system and chose instead goals that overlap in terms of ecological, economic or social impacts, yet as a result of this are more tangible, precise and practical. The rationale behind our goals is to find workable indicators with valid and useful means of measurement. As the reader moves through this paper, the goals are defined in terms of their indicators and subsequently, ideas by which to assess the indicator are given. This research proposal would not be complete without outlining our view for the future of the UBC Food System. Our recommendations are a reflection of the current system and the untapped promise this possibility holds. When we found ourselves at the end of this journey we realized that the concept of sustainability is not only complex but also that it cannot exist unless we, as a community, experience a paradigm shift that allows a holistic view of the food system, encompassing all social, economical and ecological elements. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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