Squaring farm security and food security in two types of alternative food institutions

Julie Guthman, Amy W. Morris, Patricia Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Even though both farmers' markets and community supported agriculture were first developed to provide markets for farmers, recently the goals of food security have been attached to these market-based alternative food institutions, based on their potential to be "win-win" economic solutions for both small-scale farmers and low-income consumers. This article reports on survey and interview research conducted in California during 2004-2005 designed to examine to what extent CSAs and farmers' markets are addressing food security in both concept and practice. Findings show that managers of these institutions generally support the idea of improving the affordability of the food they provide, and most have made an effort to do so, although these efforts vary with institutional capacity. Still, some hedged their interest in supporting food security goals with countervailing concerns such as the need to support farmers first. It is ironic, then, that the way that private CSAs and farmers' markets achieve some elements of food security is by virtue of the support of public food assistance programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-684
Number of pages23
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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