Food safety and nutrition for low-income urbanites: exploring a social justice dilemma in consumption policy

S.C.O. Wertheim-Heck*, Jessica Raneri, P.J.M. Oosterveer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Equitable access to healthy food is a critical challenge in urban Asia. Food safety governance promotes modern supermarkets over more traditional markets, but supermarkets are associated with unequal access to food. This study investigates how retail policies driven by food safety impact the diets of the urban poor in Hanoi, Vietnam. We do this by linking food retail infrastructures with the food shopping practices and measured dietary intake of 400 women. Our results reveal sub-optimal dietary diversity and reliance on foods sourced through traditional markets, which do not provide formal food safety guarantees. Modern channels supply formal food safety guarantees, but are mainly frequented for purchasing ultra-processed foods. The paper uncovers a conflicting duality governing food security and suggests that the public responsibility for ensuring access of the poor to nutritious and safe foods requires a more diverse retail policy approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-420
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Volume31
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • food access
  • food retail environment
  • Hanoi
  • healthy diet
  • social equity
  • urbanisation
  • Vietnam

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