The its role in global warming have been raised

The level of concern in civil
society about the global food system, industrial or mechanised agriculture and
its role in global warming have been raised in the popular consciousness, in
books (Eric Schlosser’s ‘Fast Food Nation’, Houghton Mifflin, 2002) and
documentaries (Robert Kenner’s ‘Food Inc’, 2008) that stressed the highly
politicized, complex and interconnected processes involved in the production,
marketing and distribution of food and its commodity chain. These issues are
driving social movements with a ‘green agenda’ that seek solutions to minimise
the impact of western consumption as a driver of climate change and its impact
on communities in developing countries where much of the raw materials for
western production and consumption are sourced. In some western communities,
this socially-driven ‘green imperative’ has developed into national ‘Green
Party’ political groups. However, tension can emerge when social movements feel
that their defining issues have been co-opted, or appropriated, by politics
(seeing a ‘political opportunity’) and compromises the spirit and expectations
of the collective will (Dryzek et al,

         Applied research and institutional
involvement in urban agriculture issues are now discussed alongside global
concerns over climate change, ‘peak oil’ and related potential of a collapse in
the global food system (Pretty, 2011; Rosin et
al, 2011; Thornton, 2011). As a response to these challenges, urban
agriculture is advanced as a strategy for improving, firstly, natural ecosystem services, such as carbon
sequestration, through maintaining healthy soils and forests and, secondly, in
‘human ecosystems’ through ‘urban greening’ for healthy cities in moving
towards closing the loop on high consumption of inputs (fossil fuels and food)
and production of waste (Newman & Jennings, 2008; Lehmann, 2010).

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         Where economic outcomes appeal to both
local producers and council mandates for local economic development, creating
local food systems could help to break the impasse. Frameworks for local food
systems, which both support local growers and marketing of produce, benefit
low-income communities and make economically viable use of council, state and
public lands, could provide pathways to compromises that are socially,
environmentally and economically equitable.


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