Friday, November 7, 2014

Professor Civita Publishes "Agrarians Feeding Communities"

Professor Civita’s latest article, Agrarians Feeding Communities: Reconnecting Federal Farm Policy and Nutrition Assistance For a More Just Agri-food System was recently published in the Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review.

Agrarians Feeding Communities (i) surveys the promise of and the obstacles facing the diverse and diffuse food movement, (ii) examines the objectives of, problems with, and politics related to past and present federal farm and food policy, and (iii) explores opportunities for using federal policy to simultaneously support farmers, nourish the hungry, reward socially and ecologically responsible practices, generate economic opportunity, and strengthen communities.

This article strives to bridge the gap between federal farm policy and the food movement by identifying legitimate shared goals and looking for synergistic solutions. It recommends a holistic and coordinated approach to federal agricultural and nutrition policy based on the natural interconnectedness of producers and consumers. Finally, it advances substantial support for what Professor Civita has termed "responsible regional agriculture" through a market-based reform of nutrition assistance. With this piece, Professor Civita calls for scaling up the political relevance of the food movement, reframing the public debate around farm subsidies and nutrition assistance: "Rather than leveraging the interests of agriculture against the needs of the food insecure for political advantage or pitting big ag against its more idealistic little siblings, we need a call for federal policies that prioritize responsible regional agriculture, regardless of scale, and empower all consumers, regardless of their means."

In the words of John Secaras, the Editor-in-Chief of the NILR, Professor Civita’s coverage of our nation’s complicated food system and corresponding federal policy" as well as her "impressive research and commentary on the possibility of a reformed American food system add[] depth and ingenuity to th[e] growing field [of food policy] in a way that any reader can appreciate."

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