Dismantling Racism in the Food System
Today’s food system has been shaped by the privatization of public goods and the deregulation of corporate capital, leading to the highest levels of global inequality in economic history. The staggering social and environmental costs of this transition have hit people of color the hardest; paring back health, education and welfare functions of government and crippling our capacity to respond to these problems by destroying much of the public sphere. Our communities have been weakened, exacerbating the violence, intensifying racial tensions and deepening cultural divides. In many ways the community food movement, with its projects for a fair, sustainable, healthy food system is rebuilding our public sphere from the ground up. But we can’t rebuild the public sphere without addressing the issues which divide us. For many communities this means addressing racism. Understanding where and how racism manifests itself in the food system, recognizing it within our movement and our organizations and within ourselves is not extra work for an equitable food system; it is the work.
Eric Holt-Giménez is the Executive Director of Food First, a "peoples' think-and-do tank" dedicated to eliminating the injustices that cause hunger and environmental degradation. He is the co-author of Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice, as well as many academic, magazine, and news articles. After spending more than 25 years with the resourceful farmers of Central America and Mexico, Eric holds a deep appreciation for the value and power of building local food systems.
About Food First
Food First celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a number of special events, publications, and online store promotions. Founded in 1975 by Joseph Collins and Frances Moore Lappé, author of the revolutionary best-seller Diet for a Small Planet, Food First has gone on to publish over 60 books exploding commonly-held “myths” about hunger and food production. In celebration of its 40th year, Food First will be organizing a number of special events in the San Francisco Bay Area—where the organization is based—and a national spring speaking tour featuring Executive Director Eric Holt-Giménez. www.foodfirst.org