Cultivating Food Justice

Race, Class, and Sustainability

ISBN: 9780262300223 | Copyright 2011


Documents how racial and social inequalities are built into our food system, and how communities are creating environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives.

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.

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Contents (pg. vii)
Series Foreword (pg. ix)
Preface (pg. xi)
From Alison (pg. xi)
From Julian (pg. xii)
Chapter 1. Introduction: The Food Movement as Polyculture (pg. 1)
Situating Food Justice (pg. 4)
Food Justice and Environmental Justice (pg. 7)
Food and (Poly)culture (pg. 10)
Overview (pg. 13)
Notes (pg. 16)
References (pg. 16)
I. The Production of Unequal Access (pg. 21)
Chapter 2. A Continuing Legacy: Institutional Racism, Hunger, and Nutritional Justice on the Klamath (pg. 23)
Institutional Racism, Racial Formation, and Racial Projects (pg. 26)
Environmental Justice (pg. 27)
The Production of Food Insecurity: A Racialized Environmental History (pg. 28)
Genocide and Relocation (pg. 29)
Lack of Recognition of Land Occupancy and Title (pg. 32)
Forced Assimilation (pg. 36)
Conclusion (pg. 42)
Acknowledgments (pg. 43)
Notes (pg. 44)
References (pg. 44)
Chapter 3. From the Past to the Present: Agricultural Development and Black Farmers in the American South (pg. 47)
“ Rural Livelihoods ” Theoretical Framework (pg. 48)
Agriculture, Black Farmers, and Livelihood Systems (pg. 50)
Responses from the Grassroots (pg. 57)
Discussion (pg. 60)
References (pg. 61)
Chapter 4. Race and Regulation: Asian Immigrants in California Agriculture (pg. 65)
The Law and Asian American Farmers (pg. 67)
Chinese Agriculture and the Exclusion Act of 1882 (pg. 68)
Japanese Farmers and the Alien Land Laws of 1913 – 1927 (pg. 70)
The Hmong 1975 – 2009: Protecting Workers, Challenging Family Farmers (pg. 73)
Conclusion (pg. 81)
Notes (pg. 82)
References (pg. 83)
II. Consumption Denied (pg. 87)
Chapter 5. From Industrial Garden to Food Desert: Demarcated Devaluation in the Flatlands of Oakland, California (pg. 89)
Root Structure: Devaluation of Urban Capital (pg. 93)
An Industrial Garden Grows (pg. 95)
Demarcated Desertifi cation (pg. 102)
Retail in the Red (pg. 107)
Conclusion (pg. 111)
Notes (pg. 113)
References (pg. 116)
Chapter 6. Farmworker Food Insecurity and the Production of Hunger in California (pg. 121)
Producing Hunger, Constructing Vulnerability (pg. 122)
California Farmworkers: Hunger in the Nation ’ s Breadbasket (pg. 127)
Situating Farmworker Food Insecurity (pg. 133)
California ’ s Racialized Agricultural Working Class (pg. 134)
The Politics and Policy of “ Othering ” (pg. 135)
Uneven Development and Neoliberal Trade Policy (pg. 137)
Conclusion (pg. 139)
Notes (pg. 140)
References (pg. 142)
III. Will Work for Food Justice (pg. 147)
Chapter 7. Growing Food and Justice: Dismantling Racism through Sustainable Food Systems (pg. 149)
Food Justice in Historical and Contemporary Economic Context (pg. 150)
Food Security and the Community Food Security Coalition (pg. 152)
Food Justice and the Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative (pg. 155)
Growing Food and Justice for All — The First Conference (pg. 159)
Concluding Thoughts and New Research Opportunities (pg. 169)
Acknowledgments (pg. 172)
Notes (pg. 172)
References (pg. 173)
Chapter 8. Community Food Security “ For Us, By Us: ”The Nation of Islam and the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church (pg. 177)
Organizational Histories (pg. 179)
Why the NOI and PAOCC (pg. 184)
The FUBU Principle (pg. 186)
Preaching Self-reliance through the NOI ’ s Muhammad Farms (pg. 187)
Self-reliance and Beulah Land Farms (pg. 188)
“ Community ” in the Nation of Islam and the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church (pg. 189)
Community in the Community Food Movement (pg. 192)
Conclusion (pg. 193)
Acknowledgments (pg. 194)
References (pg. 194)
Chapter 9. Environmental and Food Justice: Toward Local, Slow, and Deep Food Systems (pg. 197)
Local Food in a Global World? (pg. 199)
Environmental Justice Principles and Food Justice: A Necessary Connection (pg. 202)
Decommodifying Food in Autonomous Spaces: Lessons from the (Corn)field (pg. 204)
Conclusion: Rebalancing Power in the Global Food System (pg. 215)
Acknowledgments (pg. 217)
Notes (pg. 217)
References (pg. 218)
Chapter 10. Vegans of Color, Racialized Embodiment, and Problematics of the “ Exotic ” (pg. 221)
Eating the “ Exotic ” (pg. 225)
Whiteness, Vegan Spaces, and Racialized Bodily Places (pg. 229)
Conclusion (pg. 234)
Note (pg. 235)
References (pg. 236)
Chapter 11. Realizing Rural Food Justice: Divergent Locals in the Northeastern United States (pg. 239)
The State of Food Access and Local Foods (pg. 241)
Grafton County: Rural Aspirations for Food System Relocalization (pg. 243)
Methods: Qualitative Inquiry (pg. 245)
Divergent Locals: Traditional and Contemporary Localism (pg. 246)
Divergent Localism: Intentions and Motivations (pg. 249)
Future Directions in Rural Food Justice: The Role of Traditional Localism (pg. 252)
Acknowledgments (pg. 255)
Note (pg. 255)
References (pg. 255)
IV. Future Directions (pg. 261)
Chapter 12. “ If They Only Knew: ”The Unbearable Whiteness of Alternative Food (pg. 263)
Coding Alternative Food as White (pg. 265)
Evidence of Colorblindness and Universalism in Alternative Food Institutions (pg. 268)
Evidence of Lack of Resonance (pg. 271)
“ If They Only Knew ” ? (pg. 275)
If Who Only Knew? (pg. 276)
Note (pg. 278)
References (pg. 278)
Chapter 13. Just Food? (pg. 283)
Theories of Justice (pg. 285)
Food Justice (pg. 290)
Toward Refl exive Food Justice (pg. 297)
Conclusion: Embracing Imperfect Politics (pg. 301)
References (pg. 302)
Chapter 14. Food Security, Food Justice, or Food Sovereignty? Crises, Food Movements, and Regime Change (pg. 309)
Hunger, Harvests, and Profits: The Tragic Records of the Global Food Crisis (pg. 309)
Understanding the Crisis (pg. 310)
The Corporate Food Regime (pg. 313)
Food Enterprise, Food Security, Food Justice, Food Sovereignty (pg. 319)
The Food Regime and the Food Movement (pg. 319)
Solving the Food Crisis: The Imperative of Regime Change (pg. 325)
Notes (pg. 328)
References (pg. 328)
Chapter 15. Conclusion: Cultivating the Fertile Field of Food Justice (pg. 331)
Lessons from the Food Justice Movement (pg. 332)
Lessons for the Food Justice Movement (pg. 336)
Summary (pg. 345)
Note (pg. 345)
References (pg. 345)
Contributors (pg. 349)
Index (pg. 351)