Harvesting Justice: Food Sovereignty Blog Series

February 18, 2013


In Haiti, members of the Union of Peasant Groups of Bay map out the families and resources in their community as a step in planning and tracking their local development process. Photo: Ben Depp

“Over a half-century ago, Mahatma Gandhi led a multitude of Indians to the sea to make salt in defiance of the British Empire’s monopoly on this resource critical to people’s diet. The action catalyzed the fragmented movement for Indian independence and was the beginning of the end for Britain’s rule over India. The act of ‘making salt’ has since been repeated many times in many forms by people’s movements seeking liberation, justice and sovereignty: César Chávez, Nelson Mandela, and the Zapatistas are just a few of the most prominent examples. Our food movement – one that spans the globe – seeks food sovereignty from the monopolies that dominate our food systems, with the complicity of our governments. We are powerful, creative, committed and diverse. It is our time to make salt.”

So began a statement from the People’s Movement Assembly on Food Sovereignty from the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in 2010, which launched a national movement. So, too, begins a weekly blog series adapted from Other Worlds’ hot-off-the-press, 140-page book: Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture Systems in the Americas. The book is the result of five years of interviews and on-site research from throughout the hemisphere, describing strategies to win food justice and food sovereignty. It draws from more than 100 cutting-edge successes, grassroots alternatives, and inspiring models. An appendix offers hundreds of ways to get involved. Check out the Harvesting Justice website.

Here's the blog list as we publish them, below. And, here's our blog series featured on Truthout!

1. Transforming the Global Food Supply Chain: Food Sovereignty

2. Food Sovereignty: Think Globally, Eat Locally

3. Food and Land at the Service of People: An Interview with Peter Rosset

4. Women's Work: Gender and the Global Food System

5. Uprooting Racism in the Food System: African Americans Organize

6. "The Consumer's Got to Change the System": Farmer Ben Burkett on Racism and Corporate Control of Agriculture

7. The True Costs of Industrialized Food

8. From Growing Profit to Growing Food: Challenging Corporate Rule

9. Farmers and Consumers vs. Monsanto: David Meets Goliath

10. Small Farms Fight Back: Food and Community Governance

11. Seeds of Change: Shifting National Agricultural Policies

12. Weeding Corporate Power out of Agricultural Policies: Communities Mobilize for Food and Farm Justice

13. We Have a Dream: Farmworkers Organize for Justice

15. From Field to Table: Rights for Workers in the Food Supply Chain

16. Bringing the Food Home: Local Food and Agricultural Systems

17. Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture: Reviving Native Food and Farming Traditions

18. The Awakening that's Happening: Local, Sustainable Food

19. Meet Up, Eat Up, Act Up: Consumers Join the Movement for Food Workers' Rights

20. "The Revolution is Going to be Fought with the Hoe": Agriculture and Environment in New Mexico

21. More than Just Food: Connecting Farm to Community

22. Food for Body, Food for Thought, Food for Justice: People's Grocery in Oakland, California

23. Land to the Tillers: Responses to Land Grabs

24. Inherit the Earth: Land Reform in Brazil

Download the Harvesting Justice pdf here, and find action items, resources, and a popular education curriculum on the Harvesting Justice website. Harvesting Justice was created for the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, which works to "end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system."

Read more from Other Worlds here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Here’s what people are saying about Harvesting Justice:

“Field and Bell’s transformative work gets to the cultural and political heart of food politics and production. Harvesting Justice more than captures a deep, intelligent explanation of the state of food sovereignty in the Americas – it gives us an empowering, community-based framework for meaningful action. If you believe that food has power to change lives, read on.” 
- Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

If our people want to eat twenty years from now, we will need food justice. We will need to transform a dependent, fossil-fuels based industrial food system into one which restores our collective relationship to the land, the plants, and each other. The stories and the vision shared in Harvesting Justice inspire and inform that work. I’m grateful for the storytellers and those whose hands are on the earth.”
- Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabe activist and environmentalist, author of Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming and The Militarization of Indian Country

“If you’re wondering what on earth ‘food sovereignty’ is, I can’t think of a better place to start than Harvesting Justice. Tory Field and Beverly Bell have condensed a vast field of research and activism into a vibrant and lively handbook. It’s a terrific primer on what’s wrong with the global food system and, even better, what to do about it.” 
- Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

“Ben and Jerry’s has always promoted local agriculture. Harvesting Justice shows how the sum of local efforts everywhere can contribute to a global shift. We can reclaim power from agricultural corporations, for our future and the earth’s. This important book gives many insights and tools on how to do so.” 
- Jerry Greenfield, Co-founder, Ben and Jerry’s

“From my standpoint as a farmer, food sovereignty is a God-given right. Everyone should have the right to clean water, clean air, and wholesome food.  As long as people are hungry there will be no justice. Harvesting Justice will help educate all people who interact with food about their role in creating a humane food system and a healthy earth. It’s all about the blessings we have from Mother Earth - Protect Her.”
- Ben F. Burkett, Farmer, President of the National Family Farm Coalition

“Anyone interested in understanding more about justice in the food system should take a good look at this book. But don’t just look… use it as a resource to connect with others and take action, so you can be part of the creation of the food movement’s next chapter.”
- Gerardo Reyes Chávez, Staff member, Coalition of Immokalee Workers

“Many people are familiar with the quest for healthy, organic food. But the food movement also includes the need for food justice, land reform, and other faces of food sovereignty.  If you want to see nutritious and wholesome food produced with respect for the earth available to all, you’ll love Harvesting Justice.”
- John Robbins, author of Diet For A New America, Co-founder of The Food Revolution Network