Local Food, Sustainability, and Cuba's National Food Program

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ProQuest, 2008 - 176 pages
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There is a tendency in food systems research and planning to associate sustainable and socially just food provisioning with the local scale of organization. This thesis questions two assumptions that tie local food provisioning systems to sustainable food production: that localization is the key to environmental sustainability and that food security is best achieved through development of local food systems. I examine the relationship between scale and food provisioning by applying scale and politics of scale theory to a case study of Cuba's food system. I analyze several historical periods leading up to and including the Special Period which followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the Special Period Cuba transformed its food system from one based on industrial and export-based production to a system focused on achieving national food security and environmental sustainability. Analysis of the Special Period focuses on the changes that occurred in relationships among places involved in food provisioning at community, regional, national, and international scales. The thesis concludes with ideas about how to move beyond the argument for rescaling and forward to a discussion of how to actually create food provisioning systems that are sustainable and just.

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Material and Social Components of Agricultural Production
Politics of Scale and The Local Trap
Historical Scales of Food Provisioning in Cuba
Food Provisioning in the Special Period
Towards a More Sustainable Agriculture
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