UBC Undergraduate Research

Assessing Opportunities Within UBC Campus Food Systems Kailley, Jaya


At UBC, there exist various initiatives, approaches, and policies related to food and food systems. There also exist various food-related initiatives such as the Food and Nutrition Committee, the Food Systems Project, and the Food Security Initiative, which have expressed interest in strategic alignment to strengthen existing work on campus. This includes the potential for a wider food policy at UBC, as well as a campus-wide food coalition. In order to provide the foundation for future advocacy work and strategic planning around food, this project includes a review of key terms and definitions in food systems discourse, key stakeholders and themes in food work at UBC, and an environmental scan of policies at university levels. The findings from the literature review revealed that key themes in food systems discourse at UBC and beyond include food, health, justice, climate, biodiversity, energy, waste, and sustainability. Descriptions of key food-related stakeholders were also provided. The university-level policy scan revealed 6 key themes: (1) sourcing of food & procurement, (2) provision, (3) learning, education & research, (4) waste, and (5) energy & water. This analysis led to the emergence of two gaps around food justice: (1) representation of marginalized populations in food committees, and (2) representation of various cultures in food committees. Recommendations to fill the identified gaps were provided. In this project, the author chose to focus on food justice; however, there is a high probability that gaps in food committees exist in many themes identified in the literature review. Future research should explore gaps in other themes identified through the literature review and policy scan. Other recommendations for future research included the following: 1. Addition of the following stakeholders to the Food Systems Project (FSP) Food Asset Map: (1) Liu Institute for Global Issues (research centre in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs) (2) PPGA (course category in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs) (3) ASIA (course category in the Department of Asian Studies) 2. Producing a visual (i.e. Venn diagram) that shows the relationships between various terms, themes, and stakeholders on campus. 3. Using a stakeholder framework to further analyze the composition of food committees and see if there are any more gaps 4. Review of other key policies at university levels, as well as policies at regional, national, and international levels. The author hopes that this research contributes some knowledge that may be used to: 1. Increase inclusivity in future food committees at UBC, and 2. Create a unified campus food policy that considers all groups in the campus ecosystem. 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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