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Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 5:30pm - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 7:30pm

Food (In)Security: Access, Equity, Frameworks

A CIS Spring Quarter series that addressed the increasingly serious problem of global food insecurity.

Swift Hall
3rd Floor, Lecture Hall
1025 East 58th Street
Chicago IL, 60637

Do you know where your next meal is coming from? Consistent access to nutritious food is a luxury unknown by approximately one billion people worldwide. Equal distribution to our planet’s growing population is undermined by a broken food system. The 2009 G8 Summit L'Aquila Global Food Security Initiative was defined by a commitment from donors of $22 billion, $3.5 billion of which committed by the U.S. to increase agricultural development and food security through 2012. With the G8, NATO, and G20 Summits at our doorsteps, the question remains as to how successful those commitments have been in advancing global agricultural development and reducing levels of hunger.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) explains that food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.  Food security is thus a complex issue involving aspects of food production and distribution, poverty, buying power, social networks, and cultural choice. 
Across the globe, food prices are elevated; the World Bank’s food price index increased by 15% between October 2010 and January 2011 and is only 3% below its 2008 peak.  At a time when more than one in four people are living on less than $1.25 a day, and unemployment has reached record levels, there can be no doubt about the seriousness of the problem.
Buying power is, of course, only one dimension of food security; problems of access are also critically important.  While civil unrest, disasters, and other crises may disrupt food systems, in other cases food insecurity reflects structured inequalities. For example, increased obesity and ill-health, amplified in “food deserts,” are a manifestation of food insecurity in Chicago and across the U.S.
Food (In)Security: Access, Equity, Frameworks is a month-long series of events and discussions throughout Spring Quarter. What role will the U.S. play in ensuring global food security? Which forces will determine the future of food? Can smallholder agriculture survive growing subsidies to large-scale agribusiness? What is to become of the 75% of rural households in the developing world relying on community based farming?
Our speakers ranged from scholars to government officials to grassroots activists.  Watch the videos and join us as we explore the various dimensions of food security and its effect on local and global societies.
Tuesday, April 17

The 2012 Farm Bill

  • Kenneth Cook, President and Co-Founder, Environmental Working Group

Monday, April 30
Hunger and Nutrition

  • Craig Gundersen, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois
  • Sophie Milam, Senior Policy Counsel, Feeding America

Wednesday, May 9
Food Security and Food Sovereignty

  • Hannah Wittman, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
  • Philip McMichael, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University
  • Rachel Bezner Kerr, Department of Geography, Western University

Tuesday, May 15
Food, Agriculture, and Development

  • Catherine Bertini, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Christopher Delgado, Strategy and Policy Adviser, Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Sustainable Development

Tuesday, May 22
Governance and Accountability

  • Emily Alpert, Senior Policy Manager, Agriculture, ONE
  • Julie Howard, Chief Scientist, Bureau for Food Security, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Agricultural Research, Extension and Education, U.S. Agency for International Development