A Life Cycle Approach to Food Justice: The Case of Breastfeeding

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert T. Perdue Ph.D, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: The focus on food within environmental justice scholarship and activism has rapidly advanced as issues such as differential access to healthy food, the distribution of hunger and obesity, and the working con- ditions of agricultural workers have garnered much deserved attention. This has spawned a new research agenda under the moniker of ‘‘food justice.’’ In this article, we contend that food justice research can benefit from employing the ‘‘environmental inequality formation’’ approach outlined by Pellow, which argues that environmental inequalities are the product of historical processes which involve multiple stakeholders with varied motives. Most importantly for this article, however, is his contention that these inequalities need to be addressed via a life cycle approach. We take this directive literally, and employ a cradle to the grave approach to food justice, or what we call the food cycle. This approach highlights how food inequalities occur in different ways and rates at different stages in the human life cycle. Here we focus on the very beginning of the food cycle by exploring breastfeeding and the food consumed by our most vulnerable population, infants. The case of breastfeeding helps to expand our understanding of food justice by un- packing some of the structural impediments that play a role in the disproportionately low rates of breastfeeding among women of color and the working classes. We conclude that elucidating food in- equalities as they pertain to race, class, gender, and age will only increase the vitality of the field and can catalyze necessary changes to ensure food justice for all populations.

Additional Information

Robert Todd Perdue, Joshua Sbicca, and Jeanne Holcomb (2012) "A Life Cycle Approach to Food Justice: The Case of Breastfeeding" Environmental Justice vol. 5 number 3 [DOI: 10.1089/env.2011.0040] Version of Record Available @ (http://0-online.liebertpub.com.wncln.wncln.org/doi/abs/10.1089/env.2011.0040)
Language: English
Date: 2012
breastfeeding, infancy, life cycle, sociology

Email this document to