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Resilience: The Food Policy Imperative for a Volatile Future

July 2015

Citation: 45 ELR 10663

Issue: 7

Author: Nicole M. Civita

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.

Nicole M. Civita is an Affiliated Professor with the University of Arkansas School of Law’s LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law, where she teaches Food Justice, Urban Agriculture Law & Policy, and Global Food Security and directs the Food Recovery Project. Nicole is also Faculty in Sustainable Food Systems and the Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College. She works Of Counsel with Foscolo & Handel PLLC, the Food Law Firm.

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