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Minister MacAulay on the Ryerson Urban Farm
Guiding Principles

Established at Ryerson University in 1994, the Centre for Studies in Food Security (CSFS) has been working to promote food security through research, dissemination, education, community action and professional practice.

Our Approach

We take an interdisciplinary and systemic approach to the social justice, environmental sustainability, health and socio-cultural aspects of food security.

For information on recent and on-going projects supported by the Centre, click here.

The Centre shares information and facilitates dialogue among civil society organizations, universities and governments through our web site and associated mailing lists. We have hosted several national and international conferences and we are engaged with food security initiatives at local, regional and global levels.

The Centre aims to: 

Create a platform for dialogue to increase food security through focusing on issues of health, income and the evolution of the food system, including attention to ecological sustainability and sociocultural diversity.

Contribute to the knowledge base on food security through development of a research and consulting capacity which draws on the strengths of Toronto-based faculty and students, and Ryerson’s commitment to applied research and professional education.

Generate research and innovative practices, responsive to societal need, in partnership with community groups, small businesses, producers’ organizations, health professionals, universities, government agencies and others.

Share information and resources across all sectors, utilizing electronic media, publications, conferences, public forums, network meetings, and other means of participatory communication.

The Five A’s of Food Security

Availability: Sufficient food for all people at all times.

Accessibility: Physical and economic access to food for all at all times.

Adequacy: Access to food that is nutritious and safe, and produced in environmentally sustainable ways.

Acceptability: Access to culturally acceptable food, which is produced and obtained in ways that do not compromise people’s dignity, self-respect or human rights.

Agency: The policies and processes that enable the achievement of food security.

Fruit baskets

Why Food Security Matters

Food security matters for a number of reasons. Primarily, food insecurity indicates a lower quality of life for humans in a geographical area. Our contributors come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds including public health, architecture, nutrition and urban planning. This unique mosaic of experience offers a fantastic starting point for research and discussion into how food security can improve quality of life for people around the world.

Much of our research has been international, but we also work with local public agencies such as Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Food Policy Council to address the issue of food security right here in our home in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

"Food Security is the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations