Food for Justice: Power, Politics, and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy Preliminary Research Program

The Junior Research Group Food for Justice examines normative questions of inequalities, justice, and democracy that arise in disputes surrounding the question
“how are we going to feed the world?”. Increasingly, citizens perceive the global food
system as part of the historical causes of the ecological crisis and persisting hunger
in the world. Although the reasons for these causal links have long been known (the
use of food for profit, the gap between production and consumption, conflicts over
land and water, exploitative labour relations, the energy matrix and waste generation, among others), research on food security and the bioeconomy tend to rely on
the same solutions i.e searching for technological fixes toward a profit-oriented
model that exploits living matter. What is needed in order to complexify the debate and contribute to socio-environmental transformation is more knowledge about
which food system citizens desire, which alternative knowledges and technologies
already successfully handle such claims for justice within food politics, and how
to redirect public policies towards a democratic, ecological and just food system.
Combining theoretical perspectives on global entangled inequalities with social movement research, Food for Justice looks at challenges and solutions both in Europe (focusing on Germany) and in Latin America (focusing on Brazil). The research
consists, on one hand, of case studies of social mobilization targeting injustices
in the food system and, on the other, case studies of alternative food initiatives,
knowledges and technologies, such as agroecology and alternative food networks.
Food for Justice aims at providing a theoretical and conceptual framework – grounded on empirical research – to analyse social and political projects that address
inequalities based on class, gender, race, ethnicity, rurality, citizenship, and categorical divisions between humans and more-than-humans, thus building democratic,
ecological and just food politics.