Food sovereignty and displacement: gardening for food, mental health, and community connection

Laura Anne Minkoff-Zern, Bhavneet Walia, Rashmi Gangamma, Anna Zoodsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this paper, we assess factors that underlie the relationship between gardening and improved mental health and food security outcomes among displaced people. Drawing on a mixed method study of refugee gardeners in New York, we argue that a food sovereignty framework better incorporates crucial factors such as cultural appropriateness of food, autonomy over food choices, and promotion of health and community, as compared with a food security analysis. We draw commonalities between Indigenous food sovereignty scholarship and the resettled refugee experience, making connections across conceptual and material divisions in scholarly literature and funding institutions. Our work helps researchers and practitioners understand the impacts of gardening on social and material outcomes for displaced people, and suggests global linkages between dispossessed immigrant and Indigenous peoples’ food sovereignty movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-440
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024


  • dispossession
  • food sovereignty
  • food system autonomy
  • immigrant and refugee gardening
  • land access
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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