Recent Articles About Food Justice

Every morning at 9 a.m., the students at Boston’s New England Center for Arts and Technology (NE-CAT) line up for their daily check-in. They wear crisp white chef coats and small orange or black caps that mark them as students in the Center’s culinary arts training program. They stand at attention, prepared for a day spent chopping, sautéing, and stirring—honing the skills to secure a position in the growing food industry.

But these students are not just trying to land a new job, they’re shaping a new life. Read more

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It’s not easy to change the culture of the institution you work for, but that’s precisely what Dr. Joe Leonard, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hopes to do every day, a little bit at a time.

If you didn’t know the USDA had a secretary of civil rights, you’re probably not alone. But at a time when Black farmers make up less than 2 percent of U.S. agriculture, and the sector is still recovering from generations of documented discrimination against Black and Native American farmers, the fact that few lay-people are aware of his work doesn’t appear to be slowing Leonard down. Read more

The farmers’ market in Carrboro, North Carolina is filled with local staples like lettuce, tomatoes, and eggs. But if you turn left after the welcome booth, you’ll find a table that offers less common crops like pennywort, lime leaves, and kermit eggplant.

That table belongs to Tri Sa, a Karen refugee farmer from Burma, present-day Myanmar. Her stand is called “Mu Tar K’Paw Gardens,” a Karen saying which translates to “everything comes from sunlight.”

Read more

The holidays are a busy time—but many of us also paradoxically read more this time of year, thanks to travel, time off, and a slowed-down inbox. If you’re looking for your next big read or a gift for a food-minded friend, look no further. We asked our editors and contributors to recommend some of the books they enjoyed most this year. Read more

When it comes to the disparities within the food system, the numbers are pretty stark. The 10 largest mega-corporations generate $450 million annually in food sales. These companies’ CEOs earn, on average, 12 times what their workers make. Of those food workers, women of color make less than half of the salaries of their male counterparts and are far more likely to need nutrition assistance than workers in other industries. Black farmers have lost 80 percent of their land since 1920, while large-scale and corporate farms make nearly half the agricultural sales—despite accounting for less than five percent of all farms. Read more

First, the bad news: Native American children face approximately twice the levels of food insecurity, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes relative to all children in the United States.

The good news is that many communities are working to shift these statistics using traditional food, agriculture, and education. As Alena Paisano, a member of the Laguna Pueblo community who works with Farm to Table New Mexico, puts it: “These lessons go back hundreds of thousands of years. This is in harmony with our creation stories.” Read more