Spaces Between Theory and Praxis: Exploring Actions and Actors in Toronto's Food Justice Movement

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Fromstein, Maya

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University of Guelph


The Food Justice Movement has positioned itself as a response to the Alternative Food Movement’s alleged failure to address systemic injustices characterizing the conventional food system. Despite being rooted in a theory of justice and equity, there is uncertainty as to what the movement stands for, and how goals, values, and meanings can be translated into practice (Slocum & Cadieux, 2015; Slocum, et. al., 2016). Guided by a conceptual framework, this research combines content analysis of published materials and the distillation of semi-structured interviews with 21 representatives from 16 organizations to investigate programs, perceptions, and possibilities in the evolving Toronto food justice landscape. The study characterizes features of these organizations; explores individuals’ understandings of food justice; and makes connections between individual and systemic influences on their work. Employing prefigurative politics and emotional geographies, this study unpacks tacit theories within food justice literature that may expand the spaces food justice occupies.



Food Justice Movement, Alternative Food Movement, Systemic injustices, Conventional food system, Toronto