Below are some past projects by Trinity Sustainable Food Systems Research Group (SFSRG) research, work-study and intern students.
Bella, A – Research Opportunities Program – Poster (PDF): This year, my research took many unexpected turns resulting in quite the unconventional research poster. From designing a proposal with an organization to questioning my abilities as a researcher and academic, I was forced to learn many lessons quite different from those I expected to learn through data collection and archive work. Nonetheless, I developed a sense of resilience and understanding with myself that I know I wouldn’t have been able to without the ups and downs I experienced. I hope you come to learn something from the surprises I was met with this past year.
Berberyan, D – Research Opportunities Program – Poster (PDF) and Final Report (PDF): Farmers’ markets have been established as a key player in creating more sustainable food systems, especially within urban areas. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were deemed inessential despite the tremendous role they could have played supporting communities – especially when there were a variety of factors that made food inaccessible for low-income consumers. This project seeks to analyze policy regarding farmers’ markets and food sustainability at the municipal, provincial, and national levels and integrate it with the reality farmers’ markets were facing during the pandemic. Furthermore, it seeks to address what could be done at the policy level to help build more sustainable food systems in Canada.
Moser, F – Research Opportunities Program – Poster (PDF) and Final Report (PDF): A crucial part of making food systems sustainable is maintaining and promoting biodiversity. PUR Projet does this by employing regenerative and restorative farming practices. To assess whether these farming practices are effective, however, it is necessary to measure and monitor biodiversity. This project explores metrics for diversity, in specific functional diversity, that can be standardized for use in worldwide agroecosystems, but are still scientifically viable and practical.
Srebot, S – Research Opportunities Program – Poster (PNG): This project explored the pedagogical value of campus farms and gardens. Post-secondary students and recent graduates across Canada were surveyed regarding their engagements and learning experiences on their campus farm or garden. Learning through on-campus farms or gardens has been shown to be intersectional and valuable for students, particularly regarding mental and emotional health, appreciation for nature, and the enhancement of knowledge beyond classroom learning. However, these growing spaces may not be optimally equitable or accessible to a diversity of students, and learning outcomes can be improved so as to be more pertinent to food system politics and career preparation.
Yuan, S – Research Opportunities Program – Poster (PDF) and Final Report (PDF): The common thread connecting diverse community actors in the food services industry is entrepreneurial spirit – the motivation to meet local needs through sustainable, culturally appropriate food provided by community cooks. However, the entrepreneurial potential of Toronto’s food system is unmet, as community organizers struggle to find space in the city’s well-established, competitive business landscape. Market 707, a unique example of physical space for entrepreneurship, is an outdoor market using a shipping container business model entitled “Business out of the Box (BoB)” which has expanded to other ventures in Toronto including Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee Café. This paper explores the social conditions in the years preceding 2011 when Market 707 was created as well as the relationships built between Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) and community and professional stakeholders to analyze the factors contributing to Market 707’s success.
Dipieri, M – TRN399 Poster (PDF) and Final Report (PDF): Discussing the innovation shown by both case studies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this project hopes to illustrate the capacity and ability for food system resilience exhibited by these alternative forms of food provisioning. Creating a timeline and detailed account of food system innovation, both in a virtual and physical setting, illustrates an often undermined strength of small-scale, local food provisioning. Situating these case studies in a larger discussion of food system resilience will bring to question their potential in contributing to a more ecological and resilient urban food system.
Rodrigo, O – TRN299 Poster (PDF): The pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerabilities and inequities in how food is accessed, and this rings true in the case for food banks, who strive to meet the demand of rising food insecurity. Documenting and creating a visual model of local initiatives and their partnerships aims to situate food banks as one aspect of a wider network food supports. Through case studies of community food centres, food banks, and grassroots food initiatives, this project aims to highlight this network as a means of resilience and resistance against the inequities that make up the food system. It also aims to identify what infrastructure and sustainability attitudes at the local level are needed to further the implementation of community food provisioning hubs as we work towards food sovereignty.
Sutherland, M – TRN399 Poster (PDF): This project is primarily based on interviews with BIPOC restaurant owners in the Scarborough region, as it is characterized by its diverse population and a food scene to match it. With COVID-19 provisioning policies worsening food insecurity in food deserts, BIPOC-owned restaurants provide both financial empowerment to business owners as well as culturally appropriate foods to Scarborough residents. My research seeks to address how said restaurant owners have been able to find and feed their communities during this time of isolation and precarity.