Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice through Local and Regional Food Systems. University of Iowa Press; 1 Edition. 2017. 416 pages. ISBN‐10: 1609385438

Published date01 August 2019
Date01 August 2019
University of Iowa Press; 1 Edition. 2017. 416 pages.
ISBN10: 1609385438
Good Food, Strong Communities is a 304 page text that is suitable for
not only the individual or researcher but also the academic classroom.
Edited by Steven Ventura and Martin Bailkey, it highlights research and
urban agriculture practices aimed at combating hunger and food inse-
curity. By examining practices in place for urban agriculture and food
production across many cities and assessing commonalities across suc-
cessful communities, the authors develop models for best practices, for
communities across the United States. Good Food, Strong Communi-
ties shares ideas and stories about efforts to improve food security in
large urban areas of the United States by strengthening community
food systems. Work was funded by a USDA call for proposals in
2011 for the Community and Regional Food Systems (CRFS) project.
It provides information on 5 years of collaboration between a research
team composed of the University of Wisconsin, Growing Power, and
the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and more than 30 organiza-
tions in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Los Angeles,
Madison, and Cedar Rapids. The work was done through partnerships
with governmental and nongovernmental entities through provision of
minigrants for community engaged project.
The book's 14 chapters are broken into subparts which address
each topic thoroughly. Information is provided for the novice to
advanced user in an intelligible fashion. Initially, the editors present
the connection between food security and food system change; this
is followed immediately by a discussion of land tenure for urban farm-
ing. Chapter one has a heavy focus on the definition of food security
and discusses innovation and the ability to make collective impact. A
discussion of the framework of social justice in relationship to the
work, along with a framework to communicate with community
regarding the essential elements of a food supply chain is also pre-
sented. It is particularly useful that the authors present the develop-
ment of the model used for the CFRS framework as it was in
development at community meetings and then present the final ver-
sion that was used in the work. Each chapter contains case presenta-
tions to illustrate key points.
Topics then move into growing urban food, distribution of food,
food processing, and markets and distribution. A discussion is under-
taken regarding consumer knowledge and skills. A discussion of soil
in urban areas is presented. Following this information an in depth
look is taken regarding social justice, community food security, educa-
tion and system change. The book concludes with a discussion of
innovation and successes. The book considers nutrition status in the
communities it serves by presenting data on the Center for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Sys-
tem (BRFSS) data. In its discussion of food knowledge and skill, the
text presents a Food for Health and Wellness Questionnaire and pro-
gram outline that could easily be adapted in additional settings, con-
sidering cultural and social needs, when working with consumer
The primary strength of this text is its presentation of detail
regarding project implementation, tools, and modeling in several urban
areas. Some of the survey tools used are included and could easily be
replicated in other area. One weakness that is clearly acknowledged in
the text is its urban only focus. Much of the conceptual discussion and
methods of engagement could also be translated to the more rural
food insecure communities, for further assessment, which would be
This is a solid text that will find a useful place in the libraries of
those seeking to enhance food security and promote social justice
and equity.
This work was funded through an agreement with Indian Health
Service U1B1IHS00042100.
Victoria WarrenMears
Victoria WarrenMears
Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, Northwest Portland Area Indian
Health Board, Portland, Oregon, USA
Received: 27 April 2018 Accepted: 30 April 2018
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1831
J Public Affairs. 2019;19:e1831.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, 1of1

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT