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Citizen science for the food system

Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394, Oakden, L., West, S. , Pateman, R. M., Elliott, C., Armstrong, B., Gillespie, R. & Patel, M. (2021). Citizen science for the food system. In: Cohen, K. & Doubleday, R. (Eds.), Future Directions for Citizen Science and Public Policy. (pp. 55-69). Cambridge, UK: Centre for Science and Policy.


The food system is hugely complex, encompassing many different actors, geographic areas and cultural contexts. Although the citizen science literature related to food and food systems is concentrated primarily on a few key areas of this complex system (i.e. on health and food production); citizen science has the potential to help address many grand challenges related to food and agriculture.

In this chapter we make use of multiple desk-based reviews of the literature, and draw on our own experiences of citizen science projects. We provide examples of existing citizen science projects in the UK (as well as global initiatives) that can be adapted for use to help address food policy areas of research interest. We conclude that making use of citizen science approaches in food policy reseaarch can help the transition toward a more equitable and sustainable food and agriculture system.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International (CC BYNC 4.0) licence. You are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and remix, transform, and build upon the material, under the following terms: you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. To view the full licence, visit:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > TX Home economics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
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