Food Systems

A changing climate and environment need new and dynamic food system strategies. Arizona Environment researchers and Cooperative Extension agents and specialists work to reduce hunger and food waste, ensure rural and agricultural stability and livelihoods, and prevent environmental degradation.

For each new challenge presented in agriculture and food systems, UArizona researchers rise to find solutions. We live in the arid Southwest and combat dry conditions every year, but climate change is providing an array of new challenges, from reduced water availability for irrigation to new agricultural pests and contaminants. Global markets and complex food chain considerations, along with economic inequities, require new policy solutions to food waste, safety and security issues in communities. We explore the interconnections of water, energy and food solutions around the globe, within Arizona, and in indigenous communities.

Research Spotlights in Food Systems

Tom Evans

School of Geography and Development 

Evans studies linkages and interactions between urban food security and rural agricultural production, including impacts from drought and climate variability. 

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Channah Rock

Environmental Science & UA Cooperative Extension 

Rock’s studies include E. Coli contamination of romaine lettuce crops: environmental influences on bacterial persistence and distribution. 

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Gary Nabhan

Southwest Center

Nabhan’s research interests include the conservation, restoration, and promotion of sustainable production of species of foods unique to North America and at risk of falling out of the American food system. 

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Joel Cuello

Biosystems Engineering

Cuello is working on growing food using a minimally structured, modular and prefabricated Vertical Green Box concept to meet modern food demand with less land, less water, less carbon emission, and greater yield. 

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