The food we eat binds us to the world. With every bite, we are connected to soil, to water, to the sun, to animals and microbiota, and to all the people who have worked to bring us nourishment. Increasingly, these relationships are strained by climate change, environmental destruction, and social inequality.
At the Food Health Ecosystems Lab, we investigate human health in relation to food and ecosystems. We generate data to shed light on the social and political implications of the ways that health is connected to complex natural systems. Our aim is to support just and sustainable food systems.
We ask questions such as:
How do produce supply chains support urban food sovereignty?
How do plants shape socio-political processes such as neighbourhood design or agri-food networks?
How does the human microbiome relate to broader food system issues?
Our lab is located in Michi-Saagiig Nishinaabeg Akiing (Mississauga Lands, Treaty 13, 1805). The city where we work is in Dish with One Spoon territory, the “shared gathering grounds with Haudenosaunee Nations, and the historical home of the Wendat Nation” (Jewell, E. 2021). This territory is governed by Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee legal systems that have, for time immemorial, articulated relationships to land. It precedes the colonial legal system that imposed private land ownership on Turtle Island. The view of land as private property, and the understanding that food produced from the land and its systems is a commodity, are Euro-Western ideas rooted in capitalism. Central to the work at the lab is the recognition that the food system itself is a product, and continued expression, of colonialism.