Integrating upstream determinants and downstream food metrics
Food metrics typically measure the outcomes of food policies and programmes, not the root causes that create food system injustice, like poverty and discrimination. As a result, attention is focused on downstream interventions, and the potential for food to address upstream determinants is often masked. Integrating metrics that measure upstream determinants and metrics that measure downstream outcomes can enable planners to design better food policies and foster collaboration among food and social justice advocates. The chapter illustrates the value of integrating upstream determinants and downstream food metrics with three examples from New York City: the role of federal immigration policies on access to federal food benefits; the role of zoning changes on real estate development that leads to food gentrification; and the effects of policies to increase wages and improve working conditions on low-wage food sector workers. The chapter concludes with strategies for iteratively integrating upstream and downstream metrics that involve aggregating existing public data and emerging sources of big data in food planning, and encouraging urban planners to incorporate upstream data in their food planning activities.