Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist, and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin and a Senior Research Associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa.
Patel is also the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing.
We talked to him about gender displacement in the food system, the World Bank, and the Generation Food project. Read more
In early May, a group of children lined up along tables to press small cookie cutter shapes into blocks of cheese. Next, they were given skewers and fruit and asked to design their own shish kebabs.
Teacher Kinga Kelly extolled the virtues of eating colorful foods–like bright red strawberries and deep purple blueberries–to the group. “What is the benefit of eating the rainbow?” she called out. “We get nutrients,” they called back. “Iron! Vitamin C for your immune system! Vitamin E for your skin! Vitamin A! Vitamin D for your bones!” Meanwhile, the thud of dribbled basketballs echoed from a gymnasium down the hall. Read more
Just before this past Earth Day, dozens of volunteers worked with longtime members of the Hattie Carthan Community Garden in central Brooklyn to clean beds, spread mulch, and pour concrete. The garden has been a fixture in the area for decades, but just six years ago, the abandoned half-acre lot next to it was overgrown with trees and filled with trash. Today that lot is home to a children’s garden, two chicken coops, and the Hattie Carthan Community Market in the summer. There’s also educational programming for all ages and the Hattie Carthan Urban Agriculture Corps, a paid summer apprentice program for local teenagers. Read more
This is the third in a series of four excerpts from The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming. Read more about the book and the author here, then check out the first and second posts.
When I visited North Carolina, I heard a lot about Tahz Walker and Cristina Rivera-Chapman of Tierra Negra Farms, who are well known among young food-movement activists and urban gardeners in New York City. So as I pull up the long driveway to the land they are renting outside of Durham, I am excited to finally meet them. Read more
“At 6 a.m., I gotta get my kids up, grab my things. Sometimes I grab a sandwich, sometimes I grab nothing.” This is the voice of a mother and resident of Far Rockaway, New York, as recorded by her 18-year-old son Joshua Miranda. He produced a radio segment about her efforts to eat and cook healthy food, in this under-resourced neighborhood on the outskirts of New York City. Read more
This is the second in a series of four excerpts from The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming. Read more about the book and the author, Natasha Bowens. Read the first post here.
I head toward the lowlands of the North Carolina coast to meet with two sisters in their sixties who are trying to revitalize their family land by growing food organically. This area where they grow has changed over the decades and now faces the challenges of land degradation, climate change, and heir property laws. This pair of women teaches us that ferocity knows no limitations; sometimes all you need is a sister by your side. Read more
This is the first in a series of four excerpt from The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming. Read more about the book and the author, Natasha Bowens.
Renard “Azibo” Turner is a compact bundle of energy as he swiftly moves from one part of his 94-acre farm to the other. He is a machine, a methodical man who starts each day with just five hours of sleep and a cup of coffee and doesn’t stop working until supper. Read more
At the height of Black farming in the U.S., a million farmers owned almost 17 million acres of land. Between 1920 and 1996, however, Black land ownership dropped by 70 percent and in 2012, there were only 44,000 Black farmers in the nation. Read more
When the call came from the British Embassy, Melissa Kratzer was surprised. Would the Kentucky-based Food Literacy Project want to host Camilla, wife of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the embassy wanted to know. As a small grassroots nonprofit dedicated to educating young people about healthy food, Kratzer says, the group has never gotten a lot of celebrity attention. “We were blown away,” she recalls. Read more