Canada is a popular destination for immigrants and integration of newcomers is an important strategy for its demographic growth and economic development. Food insecurity disproportionately affects newcomers in Canada; unfortunately, they occupy the lower end of the socio‐economic spectrum and thus adding to the burden of socio‐cultural challenges they are already facing. The high level of food insecurity contributes to poor diet quality and the rise in overweight and other chronic health conditions and therefore to the loss of healthy immigrant status. Indeed, statistical evidence, mainly of the overall Canadian population, demonstrates that individuals living in food‐insecure households have higher rates of self‐reported poor health and chronic health conditions. Therefore, understanding and properly addressing the factors associated with food insecurity among Canadian immigrants is crucial for an adequate integration of immigrants. This chapter suggests that an adequate and appropriate understanding of food security for Canadian immigrant populations requires consideration of a cultural perspective in addition to the traditional individual, household and community levels and the development of measurement tools to capture this cultural dimension. It is proposed the concept of cultural food insecurity encompasses the four usual dimensions (availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability) and a newly proposed fifth cultural dimension. Future research should aim at validating the relevance of this cultural perspective as a fifth pillar for food security and developing measurement tools to assess it.
Part of the book: People's Movements in the 21st Century