People use different terms when discussing food politics—food security, food justice, right to food, and food sovereignty. Corporations, governments, international institutions, and social movements all use these terms to argue how the production, distribution, and consumption of food should change. These terms are at the center of a very contentious political debate about how and why food matters and what is to be done to change the current global food system.
When considering different policy agendas and approaches to implementing these different concepts, law gains more prominence in the debate. Here at the University of Oregon Law Food Resiliency Project, we’re mapping out the discussions in order to understand what role law can play in food politics. When developing a law, people must make difficult decisions and implement a particular plan. There’s a risk that attempting to implement food politics into law may stifle the potential of food politics to substantively transform socioeconomic inequality. We’re therefore investigating what role law can have in the food politics debate while at the same time ensuring multiple perspectives are viable and that the widest range of possibilities remains open.