A Defense of the Human Right to Adequate Food

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Res Publica: A Journal of Moral, Legal and Social Philosophy

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

I argue that recognizing a human right to adequate food and enforcing it as a legal right is an important way to promote and ensure sustainable food security. I consider objections that have been raised against subsistence rights and socio-economic rights, including the argument that such rights are not feasible, that they are not justiciable, and that they are too amorphous—that it is not clear what is required to fulfill these rights and by whom. I defend the right to adequate food against these objections by considering how this right has been interpreted and applied in international law and how it has been protected in other domestic legal systems. I analyze different dimensions of the right to adequate food and I apply these to recent issues concerning sustainable food security in the United States, such as food deserts.