Our alumna and professor, Nicole Civita recently published an excellent article in the Environmental Law Reporter, Resilience: The Food Policy Imperative for a Volatile Future, 45 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,663 (2015). This article is on the cutting edge of legal analysis on the concept of resilience as applied to food systems and will be certain to spark an important dialogue.
To sustain a growing population on a changing planet, food policies at all levels — community, regional, national, and global — must promote judicious resource use, prioritize stewardship, align with ecosystems, advance social and distributive justice, consider national security, and position us to weather long- and short-term disruptions, both climate change-driven and otherwise. This Comment considers the power of a profuse human population, reviews climate consequences of the way we have been satisfying our food needs, and demonstrates the exigencies of new approaches to withstand the mounting pressures and disruptions assailing agriculture. It offers resilience as an essential organizing imperative for agrifood systems, policies, and laws. In so doing, the Comment explores the nature and value of resilience, outlines the characteristics of resilient food systems, identifies benefits of orienting our food future around resilience, and suggests preliminary steps in the direction of reforming agrifood policy for resilience.