At least since the recent financial and food crisis of 2007 and 2008, the topic of “food” and in particular the right to self-determined food production have become key subjects within contemporary struggles for social justice. Clear signs for this phenomenon are, in both the global north and south, the emergence and increasing networking of several “food movements”, which put forward claims for food justice, food democracy and food sovereignty. Thus, they fight against the neoliberal order and the corporate system of food production. A special feature of these movements is that they do not only engage in “classic” forms of political protest, e.g. demonstrations and campaigns, but also in self-organized and self-determined economic activities such as community-supported agriculture, agro-ecological farming and various arrangements of food sharing. In consideration of the respective literature, I conceptualize these parallel economies as “alternative food geographies”, since they pursue to varying degrees the goal of overcoming the capitalist logic of exploitation and aim at a “re-spatialization” of food production and related supply chains. However, despite the high level of international attention, only a few publications explicitly discuss the normative foundation of the food movements, i.e. the meaning of sovereignty, justice and democracy, which are subject to controversial debates within political theory. This article aims at encouraging a theoretical debate regarding this research gap. Thereby, it focuses on possible contradictions these complex ideals might entail in the context of this thematic area. At the same time, it intends to provide an extended basis for empirical research on the food movements and alternative food geographies. In doing so, I discuss approaches from rural sociology, human geography and political theory and pay special attention to Nancy Fraser´s theory of justice. Originating from Critical Theory, her thoughts offer a differentiated perspective on the multi-faceted content and the contradictory nature of social justice, which also facilitates the examination of the food movements’ claims in their practical unfolding. In addition, Fraser´s theory ties in well with human geography, since it does not only consider the contentual aspects of social justice but also pays attention to its spatial dimension in an era of globalization.