The Meaning and Practice of Food Justice
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What does it mean to do food justice?Kirsten Valentine Cadieux and Rachel Slocum2015Journal article freely available to download onlineJournal of Political Ecology, Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 1-26 academic article discusses what food justice is understood to mean and how if differs to the liberal use of the term for equitable alternative food movements. The authors outline the importance of the practice of food justice and four key areas in which transformative change is needed within the context of food justice: trauma/inequality, exchange, land, and labour.
Capacity building for food justice in England: the contribution of charity-led community food initiativesMoya Kneafsey, Luke Owen, Elizabeth Bos, Kevin Broughton, and Margi Lennartsson2016Article available online via subscription or per-paper costLocal Environment, Volume 22, Issue 5, pages 621-634 academic article draws on two examples to examine whether charity-based initiatives in England support capacity building for food justice. Analysis of the reasons people chose to participate in the two initiatives and their perceived benefits of their involvement, the article concludes that these initiatives do build capacity for food justice. The article suggests that this capacity building could provide a potentially transformative basis for the way people engage with food and achieve food justice.
Land for Food Justice? AB551 and Structural ChangeErin Havens and Antonio Roman Alcalá2016Article freely available onlineLand and Sovereignty Policy Brief #8, Food First article discusses how urban agriculture in California responds to food security, food justice, and food sovereignty. It outlines research which investigated whether recent Californian policy, AB551, which was heavily influenced by food justice activists, is effective at achieving food justice or whether it has increased marginalisation and food injustices in some areas. It concludes that widespread structural injustices in California mean that the recent policy, AB551, is positive but cannot go far enough to ensure food justice.
It begins with respect: the meaning of living well for the Tseltal and Tsotsil Mayans of ChiapasJeff Conant2013Article freely available online article presents a discussion with two Chiapas (an indigenous Mexican movement for indigenous resistance and territorial autonomy) scholars Pedro Hernández Luna and Miguel Sanchez Alvarez. The discussion explores the indigenous concept of ‘el lekil kuxlejal’ which sits at the root of indigenous life and community, including governance, agriculture, stewardship, and medicine. The discussion outlines indigenous Mexican conceptions of nature and conservation, and how this links with food and agriculture.
Power to the People? The Impact of the Localism Act 2011 on Environmental Justice in EnglandFrances Bodman2011Article freely available onlineUCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Volume 521, Collection 558 academic article reviews the recently-introduced government legislation on local planning in England. It analyses the way in which the Localism Act 2011 will incorporate decision-making and the effect this will have on environmental justice. The article concludes that the legislation is likely to increase environmental injustices by increasing disparities between rich and poor communities.
Problematising justice definitions in public food security debates: Towards global and participative food justicesAna Moragues-Faus2017Article available online via subscription or paymentGeoforum, Volume 84, pp95-106 academic article discusses different definitions of justice in the context of food justice in the UK. The article finds definitions of justice are often poorly explained and at times conflicting. The article argues that narrow concepts of justice limit public participation with food justice and food security issues and proposes a framework to bridge conflicting definitions.
Notes on the practice of food justice in the US: Understanding and confronting trauma and inequityRachel Slocum and Kirsten Valentine Cadieux2015Article freely available to download onlineJournal of Political Ecology, Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 27-52 academic article discusses food justice issues in the context of continuing inequalities between races, classes, and genders following collective historical traumas. The article outlines some methods used to assist practitioners and scholars working on food justice issues. The authors propose that practitioners and scholars need to more clearly define how they practice food justice and what changes are made towards increasing food justice through the use of which processes.
Food, Justice and Food Justice for AllCentre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University2017Video freely available online video includes some of the discussions and presentations during a workshop on the topic of “Food, Justice and Food Justice for All”, held in Birmingham, UK, on the 30th of June 2017. Clips included in the video explore ideas around the meaning of ‘food justice’ and different lenses through which to view issues associated with food justice.
Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food and the CommonsEdited by Justine M. Williams and Eric Holt- Giménez2017Book book explores issues of land access and land justice as a foundation of injustices and unsustainability in the food system. It suggests that food systems can only become healthier, fairer, and more sustainable if land justice is met. The book addresses issues of race, gender, urban-rural relationships, political land borders, and activism to understand implications for land justice and food justice.
Rural Development: Putting the Last FirstRobert Chambers1983Book freely available online book challenges researchers, development practitioners, and scientists to adjust their approach to rural development by valuing the richness of the knowledge held by rural communities. When first published, the book triggered a widespread revaluation of the dominant approaches to 'doing development' by putting the end-user of development interventions to the front and beginning of defining, implementing, and managing interventions.
UK allotments and urban food initiatives: (limited?) potential for reducing inequalitiesWendy M. Miller2015Article available online via subscription or paymentInternational Journal of Justice and Sustainability, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp1194-1214 article presents findings of research on whether urban and peri-urban allotments in the UK can reduce inequalities. Using a case study of Plymouth, the article suggests that allotments are mostly not engaged in politics. However, the study finds that allotments do contribute to meeting local policy objectives. It suggests that this could contribute to increasing food justice and reducing social inequalities, but that other factors will also contribute to this.
Food Justice: Challenges and Opportunities - Malik Yakini, EcoFarm Conference Keynote 2017EcoFarm2017Video available online is a video of the keynote speech at the EcoFarm conference 2017, given by Malik Yakini, the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. In the speech he discusses food justice from the perspective of a black community in the US, and explores the challenges and opportunities for obtaining food justice for all.
Top food films to make you thinkSustainable Food Trust2014Links to 12 videos, some are available online website provides synopses and links to 12 films which explore issues related to food justice.
Food Justice, Race and Decoloniality
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Decolonisation and Food Sovereignty in Europe: Thoughts from the EdgeMama D and Colin Anderson2016Article freely available online article provides a summary of discussions among members of the UK food sovereignty movement in preparation for the second Nyeleni Europe food sovereignty gathering in 2016. The discussions summarised refer to the oppressive nature of the dominant, mainstream food systems which build on colonial histories. The summary outlines discussions on decoloniality and intersectionality as perspectives for food sovereignty in the UK and beyond by suggesting greater reflection on diversity in food sovereignty and deeper engagement with voices which may be missing at present.
Outline of Ten Theses on Coloniality and DecolonialityNelson Maldonado-Torres2016Article freely available to download online article explores concepts of coloniality and decoloniality by considering the various ways in which it has been manifest in the past and present. It addresses the role of power and how it maintains coloniality and the marginalisation and discrimination of certain peoples, cultures, and knowledges. Maldonado-Torres makes the case for ten theses, or hypotheses, regarding coloniality, colonialism, decoloniality, and decolonisation which work towards a proposed outcome of the decoloniality of power, knowledge and being.
Beyond Access: What the Movement for Black Lives’ Policy Says About FoodJ. Ama Mantey2016Article freely available online short activist article considers why those working in food activism often come from outside the communities who are most marginalised by food injustices. The article suggests that the policy generated by the US-wide Movement for Black Lives is critical for food justice because it gives a voice to the National Black Food and Justice Alliance. Ama Mantey suggests that this brings the needs for national food justice to the centre of policy development and could lead a move away from food injustices in the form of a “food apartheid”.
ReparationsThe Movement for Black LivesUndatedArticle freely available online article shares the arguments for reparations in the form of wide-ranging reformulation of governmental and organisational policy in the US in order to put right the injustices against black people. The article outlines the injustices faced by black people within food, housing, education, legal justice and imprisonment, and surveillance systems. For each issue, the article proposes policy solutions to the problem and ways in which these could be put into operation.
“Decolonize your Diet” Workshops: Food for ThoughtJoanne Camas2014Article freely available online short article introduces a series of workshops being run by a California-based food justice collective, Phat Beets Produce, on the theme of decolonisation of food. It outlines some of the sessions of the workshop which introduce the ways in which colonialism is present in the current food system and steps people can take to move away from colonised foods. The resources used in the series of workshops are freely available online via the Phat Beets Produce website: The resources available here include instructions for a “chocolate meditation”, activities to trace the colonial history of food produce, story-telling, embodying food justice, and using food as a medicine, among others.
Class Analysis in the Age of Trump (and Brexit): The Pernicious New Politics of IdentityGurminder K. Bhambra2016Article freely available online article outlines why a recent focus on class as a means of marginalisation and discrimination is insufficient and it does not and cannot address racial inequalities. The article argues that the experiences of political marginalisation of white working classes are due a perceived loss of privilege. Alternatively, the article argues that racial inequalities are built on systematic marginalisation and discrimination, and as such, addressing class-based inequalities will not address racial inequalities and injustices.
Indigenous Food SovereigntyIndigenous Food Systems NetworkUndatedArticle freely available online article gives a short introduction to indigenous food sovereignty and how it differs to other understandings of food sovereignty by addressing the food needs of indigenous peoples. The article introduces ideas of “police driven by practice” used within indigenous food sovereignty through community mobilisation and preservation of historical cultural heritage used in farming.
B.C. Food Systems Network – Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Final Activity ReportDawn Morrison2008Report freely available online report provides an overview of a project in British Colombia, Canada, which sought to engage Aboriginal communities involved in food activism in discussions about how the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty could support food security among indigenous communities. The report outlines the activities undertaken during the project and what was learned from the outcomes of the discussions.
Global Coloniality and the World Disorder: Decoloniality after Decolonization and Dewesternization after the Cold WarWalter D. MignoloUndatedArticle freely available online this article, Mignolo argues that current disorder globally is caused by two factors: firstly, that coloniality continues to exist worldwide, and secondly, that cultures, peoples, and knowledges which have most often been marginalised by colonialism are increasing their resistance to colonialism. The article concludes with a case for decoloniality bringing about a sustainable and just world for all.
Malcom X MovementResources freely available online is the website for London-based Malcom X Movement, an anti-imperialist black and Asian movement campaigning for decoloniality. The website provides access to relevant reports and publications, news, upcoming events, and an explanation of the history of the Malcom X Movement.
Recognizing Slavery at HarvardDrew G. Faust2016Article freely available online short article confronts the ways in which slavery has impacted on past and present-day Harvard University. The article introduces the history of slavery at Harvard University and reflects on how this and the oppression which made slavery possible continue to influence the university and the USA more broadly.
Universities and Slavery2017Resources freely available online is the webpage for a conference hosted at Harvard University in March 2017, on the theme of the links between universities and slavery. The conference came in response to an article in 2016 by D. Faust, titled Recognizing Slavery at Harvard. The website provides links to videos of readings and talks from the conference and links to relevant articles.
The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery 1776-1848Robin Blackburn2011Book website gives a short introduction to the book ‘The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery 1776-1848’ by Robin Blackburn. The book outlines the history of colonialism and slavery and how slave resistance brought about the fall of colonial slavery.
The Messy Link Between Slave Owners and Modern ManagementKatie Johnston2013Article freely available online article introduces research carried out by Caitlin C. Rosenthal which identified slavery as the source for some of the practices used in modern-day business and management. The article explains how slavery underlies capitalism from its origins during the 1800s and persisting in capitalist structures today.
Geographies of Race and Food: Fields, Bodies, MarketsRachel Slocum and Arun Saldanha2013Book review freely available online, book available to buyBook review written by Carrie Breitbach for The AAG Review of Books, 2015 short book review introduces the subject of the academic book ‘Geographies of Race and Food’, edited by Rachel Slocum and Arun Saldanha. The book review outlines the argument in the book, suggesting that food systems and the academic study of food need to acknowledge and respond to issues concerning race and racism for food systems to be more fully understood. The review introduces questions about how race is manifest in food and how the book responds to those questions.
The coloniality of US agricultural policy: articulating agrarian (in)justiceGarrett Graddy-Lovelace2016Article freely available onlineThe Journal of Peasant Studies, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp78-99 academic article considers the existence of coloniality within agricultural policy in the USA. The article explains how past and present coloniality are manifest in agricultural policy and throughout food systems. The author proposes that contemporary grassroots food and peasant movements are creating a move away from coloniality in food systems and hopes dialogue could lead to changes in agricultural policy.
Food-Systems-Racism: From Mistreatment to TransformationEric Holt-Giménez and Breeze Harper2016Article freely available to download online is the first in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article introduces the way in which racism and the global food system have evolved together. This discusses how the current food system reinforces racism and suggests ways to move beyond racism for a socially just food system.
Race and Corporate Power in the US Food System: Examining the Farm BillElsadig Elsheikh2016Article freely available to download online is the second in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article considers the US Farm Bill and suggests that it is a driving force of social and racial inequalities in the USA. The author suggests that the US Farm Bill and persisting corporate power within the food system prevent an inclusive and just food system.
More Than a Bingo Hall: A Story of Mashpee Land, Food, and SovereigntyHartman Deetz2016Article freely available to download online is the third in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article discusses food and sovereignty in the context of the native American tribe of the Wampanoag people. It explains how, as a people, they exercised sovereignty over their land and successfully contested the construction of a casino, allowing them to continue to practice traditional farming methods on the land.
The Roots of Black AgrarianismGail Myers and Owusu Bandele2016Article freely available to download online is the fourth in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article describes how agrarian practices and traditions have been passed on through many generations in African American communities and originate in West Africa with those who were taken to the US as slaves. The article explains how land-based African American communities maintain their culture through their relationship with the land.
Everyone is DownstreamHartman Deetz2016Article freely available to download online is the fifth in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article describes a native American resistance to the construction of an inter-state oil pipeline through tribal lands which they held sovereign rights to. It explains how this resistance developed a composting and food waste-reduction project among the Standing Rock Tribe, and the prevalence of food in native resistance movements.
Black Agrarianism: ResistanceDãnia C. Davy, Edward “Jerry” Pennick, Savonala Horne and Tracy Lloyd McCurty2016Article freely available to download online is the sixth in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article describes Black agrarian liberation movements from the history of Igbo slaves which resisted slavery and created farmland for future generations. The article explains how this resulted in a collectively-owned Freedom Farm Corporation in 1969 and developed further land-based resistance strategies.
Decolonize Your Diet: Notes Towards DecolonizationCatrióna Rueda Esquibel2016Article freely available to download online is the seventh in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article introduces the initiative ‘Decolonize your Diet’ which seeks to resist continuing colonialism and racism by re-developing traditional roots to food. The article explains how traditional, decolonised diets create a healthier population.
Unbroken Connection to the LandDavid Bacon and Rosalinda Guillén2017Article freely available to download online is the eighth in a series of articles on the topic of ‘Dismantling Racism in the Food System’. The article presents an interview with an American farmworker activist, Rosalinda Guillen. This discusses how farmers and farmworkers use land as a form of resistance against discrimination against migrant farmworkers. It also describes the value of knowledge of farming held by migrant farmworkers who have maintained traditional knowledge throughout many generations.
How Europe Underdeveloped AfricaWalter Rodney1972Book book takes an anti-imperialism perspective to the history of European colonialism in Africa. It argues that African political and economic resources were exploited by European nations, and that a history of exploitation by Europe has resulted in underdevelopment of Africa in the present. The book argues that to re-establish development of political and economic structures, African nations must regain power by moving away from contemporary, neo-colonial governments.
Food Justice and Poverty
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Breaking the link between cancer and povertyDominic Hughes2016Article freely available online short news article explains some of the reasons why rates of cancer are higher in low-income areas in the UK. It considers how employment, diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors can result in higher chances of developing cancer, and how communities in deprived areas are often lacking alternative choices which would lower their risk of cancer. The article explains one initiative for screening for preventable cancer in low-income areas in order to break the link between poverty and higher cancer rates.
Hungry for Change: The final report on the Fabian Commission on Food and PovertyFabian Society2015Report freely available online report presents the findings of the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty which investigated the food system in the UK and links between food and poverty. The Commission considered how to develop a food system in the UK which is fairer for people living in poverty. The report outlines some recommendations for coordinated action to meet five principles for a fairer food system in the UK.
Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap AmericaLinda Tirado2015Book book gives a first-hand account of what it is like to be living in poverty in the US. The book responds to questions which middle- and upper-classes ask about those living in poverty. It addresses issues including hunger and fast food consumption, as well as employment, welfare benefits, and families.
How the Other Half Dies: The Real Reasons for World HungerSusan George1976Book freely available online book explores truths behind myths which argue people can die of starvation because there is not enough food to feed an over-populated world. The book provides evidence that there is enough food produced at present to feed more than the current global population. Susan George argues that people in poverty can die of starvation because wealthy elites control an unsustainable and unjust food system, which keeps those in poverty poor and hungry.
Indigenous Agricultural Revolution: Ecology and Food Production in West AfricaPaul Richards1985Book book presents evidence of farmers doing 'informal' innovation to respond to change and opportunities. Richards argues that 'formal' innovation done in scientific institutions consistently overlooks context-appropriate innovation by farmers and instead blamed their farming practices as the cause of environmental degradation. The book highlights the critical role of indigenous innovation in farming and challenges agricultural research and development institutions to reasses their perception of 'informal' innovation.
Food First: Beyond the Myth of ScarcityFrances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins1977Book book considers world hunger through the perspective of agribusiness and agrues that in order to reduce hunger and provide a health and sustainable diet for all, food production should be prioritised over non-edible cash crops which are produced solely for profit. The book argues that hunger is not created by scarcity of food but is instead created by social inequities.
Food Justice and Food Sovereignty
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Seeds of FreedomThe Gaia Foundation2012Video available online is the first video in a trilogy developed by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network. The video provides a short history of agriculture, from agroecological family farming, to corporate commodity crops which use genetically modified (GM) organisms and high-intensity agrochemicals. By following the story of seed, the video argues that agroecological farming which continues to feed the majority of the global population and big agri-business cannot feed the world.
Seeds of SovereigntyThe Gaia Foundation2013Video available online is the second video in a trilogy developed by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network. The film charts the story of farming communities in Africa which are taking action to secure their traditional farming systems and reclaim control over their food systems. This film explores the farmers' sovereignty over their traditional seed diversity as the route through which they are securing sustainable food systems.
Seeds of JusticeThe Gaia Foundation2015Video available is the third video in a trilogy developed by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network. The film highlights the value of farmers as those who protect seed diversity and the role of big agri-business in reducing seed diversity. The film follows Ethiopian Dr Melaku as he seeks to rediscover and promote farmers' knowledge of seeds, seed diversity, and protection of seeds.
La Via Campesina in Movement...Food Sovereignty Now!La Via Campesina2011Video available online video outlines the campaign for food sovereignty led by La Via Campesina, an international movement for peasants. It highlights the global nature of the movement for food sovereignty and how their campaign has developed over 20 years, where the successes have been, and the challenges which have led to the increasing scale of the movement.
Food SovereigntyNational Family Farm Coalition2011Video available online short video introduces the seven principles of food sovereignty outlined by La Via Campesina.
Food Sovereignty: Valerie Segrest at TEDxRainierTEDx Talks2014Video available online video presents a talk given at a TEDx event in the US in which the concept of food sovereignty is explored from the perspective of native Indian tribes.