Food Justice Movement

Source: One of our partners in the struggle for a Food Secure and Just Detroit Earthworks Urban Farm, Detroit, MI

Before attempting to define food justice, let's review the definition of community food security.

"Community food security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice."
--Mike Hamm and Anne Bellows
From Community Food Security Coalition's website

Food justice work goes deeper than this definition implies. Food justice work requires us to question why food insecurity currently exists. We must examine the historical social and economic inequalities that cause wide spread food insecurity, locally and globally.

"Food security is more about analyzing problems, ameliorating issues and providing answers...Food Justice...involves local people from seed to sale. It educates, organizes and mobilizes new social relations around food. It touches hands, hearts and pockets."
--Ian Marvy co-director of Added Value in Brooklyn, NY

Check out Brahm's Blog from the People's Grocery in California on why they call their work "food justice."

What you can do to be a food justice advocate:

Question why there is enough food in the world to feed all people yet many experience hunger. What systems are in place that create this dynamic?

Question how racism has played a role in determining who has access to healthy food and who does not.

Question how it is possible to have "racism" in our society without having "racists".

Ask where your food comes from and how the people, the land, and all the creatures were treated in its production. Buy food that respects and values all people, creatures, and features of the world. Farm work is some of the most dangerous work due to exposure to pesticides and demanding schedules. Buying local and sustainable whenever possible can help to ensure that your food and food workers were treated carefully.

Get involved with your community. Investigate if there is a community garden in your area. If not, organize one.

If you identify yourself as "white" examine the extent of your "white privilege." Host a discussion about the classic piece, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh.

Host a discussion about structural racism and our food system. See the Center for Social Inclusion's presentation for more information.

Talk with people you normally wouldn't talk with. You might be surprised what you have in common and how you can support one another.

Buy local food and products from locally owned businesses or ask your favorite businesses or restaurants (even your school's cafeteria!) to source more produce and products locally.

Shop at your local farmer's market and ask your farmers questions about their food and growing practices.

Come to Earthworks' monthly Food Justice Community Gatherings or host your own.

Talk with your friends, family and coworkers about issues of agriculture, race, and equality. We can not move forward without having these conversations.

Learn about the food system through newsletters, books, and blogs. Inform yourself using by reading about the work and thoughts of others!



Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
Detroit Food Policy Council
Detroit's Food Security Policy

Earthseed DetroitComment