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What is Food Justice?

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If you are like me, you have likely heard about this term Food Justice for a while and wondered what it is? I decided I would investigate it.

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Since starting a steering committee for the Kitchen Incubator, I now see it as a part of Food Justice. It provides a commercial kitchen, not just for food Entrepreneurs to prepare and cook their food for the marketplace, it also serves the local community in learning and having better food access.

Food Justice is about communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals.

Planting Food Justice says it’s working for social change through food systems.  Participants within the Food Justice movement recognize and work to address structural inequalities inherent within the production, distribution, and consumption of industrial foods, specifically recognizing issues of race, class, privilege, and oppression that often go unmentioned even in conversations surrounding organic foods. Read more their project.

Urban Agriculture is also a part of this movement. Urban agriculture can reflect varying levels of economic and social development. In the global north it often takes the form of a social movement for sustainable communities, where organic growers, ‘foodies’ and ‘locavores’ form social networks founded on a shared ethos of nature and community holism. These networks can evolve when receiving formal institutional support, becoming integrated into local town planning as a ‘transition town’ movement for sustainable urban development. In the developing south, food security, nutrition and income generation are key motivations for the practice. In either case, more direct access to fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat products through urban agriculture can improve food security and food safety. Read more about this..

CSA’s is another way to become involved in regional food distribution is by joining a local community-supported agriculture (CSA). A CSA consists of a community of growers and consumers who pledge to support a farming operation while equally sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA’s usually involve a system of weekly pick-ups of locally farmed vegetables and fruits, sometimes including dairy products, meat and special food items such as baked goods.

You see, Food 4 Social Change is now a part of this greater movement – Food Justice. For some people they just don’t have access to fruits and vegetables. I would love to see every empty lot with a community garden and not just organized by a few people.

To end this post, I found this video on Food+ Justice = Democracy: LaDonna Redmond TEDx

Until next time..
Mari-Lyn Harris

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