SPHERU Stories

Our Research Helps Us Stop Blaming Individuals

A reflection by Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer

Dr. Engler-Stringer’s research focuses on food systems and food security, nutritional health inequities, health promotion, and participatory research.

Even though there is evidence that our social structure are at the root of negative impacts on health

…there is still a strong current that says ‘people should make better choices’ and assumptions like ‘parents should pack their kids better lunches.’ 

Yes, kids are bringing unhealthy lunches to school, but it’s clearly a collective problem.

So that’s slightly different. We blame individuals but this problem exists everywhere. 

The risk of not doing this research can mean not systematically understanding the issue.

This makes it much too easy to focus on individual behaviours. Research can help us stop blaming individuals and find collective and effective solutions. 

Learn more about Dr. Engler-Stringers current food security research with SPHERU.

‘Towards Improving Traditional Food Access for Urban Indigenous People’ is a project has been to support the development of actions that can remove barriers to traditional foods in urban environments for Indigenous people. Traditional foods are hunted, trapped, fished, gathered and cultivated to various extents depending on the community and their respective traditional territories. Communities and organizations across the country are finding innovative ways to bring traditional foods to urban residing Indigenous people, but they are often navigating the relevant policies and regulations on their own. This situation places the burden of navigating current policies and regulations on Indigenous communities.