Eat This: Food Justice Debate – From [Polis]

The issues of urban food security, food equity and rising food prices are a significant part of the current socio-political unrest and activism in North Africa and along with social exclusion are at the root of the poverty debate – these videos from [polis] set out some of the problems

“The topic of food activism is becoming dominant in current debates about spatial justice, equity and urban development in cities throughout the world. The following videos present a recent debate held at the UC Berkeley Campus based on the recent publication of Robert Gottlieb’s Food Justice.

Eric Holt-Giménez discussed the book, “Food Justice” by Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi. Recorded February 8, 2011 at UC-Berkeley.

From the MIT Press

Food Justice
Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi

In today’s food system, farm workers face difficult and hazardous conditions, low-income neighborhoods lack supermarkets but abound in fast-food restaurants and liquor stores, food products emphasize convenience rather than wholesomeness, and the international reach of American fast-food franchises has been a major contributor to an epidemic of “globesity.” To combat these inequities and excesses, a movement for food justice has emerged in recent years seeking to transform the food system from seed to table. In Food Justice, Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi tell the story of this emerging movement.

A food justice framework ensures that the benefits and risks of how food is grown and processed, transported, distributed, and consumed are shared equitably. Gottlieb and Joshi recount the history of food injustices and describe current efforts to change the system, including community gardens and farmer training in Holyoke, Massachusetts, youth empowerment through the Rethinkers in New Orleans, farm-to-school programs across the country, and the Los Angeles school system’s elimination of sugary soft drinks from its cafeterias. And they tell how food activism has succeeded at the highest level: advocates waged a grassroots campaign that convinced the Obama White House to plant a vegetable garden. The first comprehensive inquiry into this emerging movement, Food Justice addresses the increasing disconnect between food and culture that has resulted from our highly industrialized food system.

About the Authors

Robert Gottlieb is Professor of Urban & Environmental Policy at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is the author of Environmentalism Unbound: Exploring New Pathways for Change (2001), and Reinventing Los Angeles: Nature and Community in the Global City (2007), both published by the MIT Press, and other books.

Anupama Joshi is Codirector of the National Farm to School Network and is based at the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College.

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