Popularized by such best-selling authors as Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Eric Schlosser, a growing food movement urges us to support sustainable agriculture by eating fresh food produced on local family farms. But many low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have been systematically deprived of access to healthy and sustainable food. These communities have been actively prevented from producing their own food and often live in “food deserts” where fast food is more common than fresh food. Cultivating Food Justice describes their efforts to envision and create environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives to the food system.
Bringing together insights from studies of environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, critical race theory, and food studies, Cultivating Food Justice highlights the ways race and class inequalities permeate the food system, from production to distribution to consumption. The studies offered in the book explore a range of important issues, including agricultural and land use policies that systematically disadvantage Native American, African American, Latino/a, and Asian American farmers and farmworkers; access problems in both urban and rural areas; efforts to create sustainable local food systems in low-income communities of color; and future directions for the food justice movement. These diverse accounts of the relationships among food, environmentalism, justice, race, and identity will help guide efforts to achieve a just and sustainable agriculture.
The answers to our food system ills are not found simply in opposition to our current food system; community solutions that incorporate racial justice, from production to consumption, are required. I could not agree more. As facilitators of community building, planners have a responsibility to fill in the gaps in representation at the food movement 'table' and understand the history of those coming (or not coming) to such a table. The insights in this book provide a foundation and direction for food system planners.—Jill K. Clark, Journal of Planning Education and Research—
Cultivating Food Justice covers important ground previously lacking in food studies and movements, particularly with regard to critical theorizing about race, class, ethnicity, sustainability, and food access, thereby expanding understandings of food justice as both a field of scholarly inquiry and fruitful activism.—American Studies—
The case studies and theoretical discussions presented in this volume provide very useful insights for food activists, farmers, consumers, and policy-makers regarding the political, economic, and social processes that have influenced our global food system and its related class and racial injustices.—Rachel S. Madsen, Agriculture and Human Values—