Environmental Philosophy

Volume 18, Issue 2, Fall 2021

Andrew F. Smith
Pages 199-225

Symbioculture: A Kinship-Based Conception of Sustainable Food Systems

Symbioculture involves nurturing the lives of those in one’s ecology, including the beings one eats. More specifically, it is a kinship-based conception of food and food systems rooted in Indigenous considerations of sustainability. Relations among food sources; cultivators, distributors, and eaters; and the land they share are sustainable when they function as extended kinship arrangements. Symbioculture hereby offers salient means to resist the ecocidal, agroindustrial food system that currently dominates transnationally in a manner that responds to the urgent need—both in terms of Indigenous justice and prudence for us all—to decolonize foodways and decommodify food, food-based knowledge, and food labor.