Other Worlds

BRINGING THE FOOD HOME: LOCAL FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

July 17, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 16 of the Harvesting Justice series


In Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of a growing number of winter farmers’ markets. Photo: Tory Field.

In Western Massachusetts on a sunny winter day, a farmers’ market was taking place in the entryway of an elementary school. The smell was a mix of apple cider, homemade donuts, and gymnasium. Long rows of tables were heavy with piles of root vegetables, hardy apples, fresh pies, pasture-raised lamb, honey wine, and handmade brooms. There was enough diversity that, if determined and creative, one could make it through an admirable portion of a long northern winter.

FROM FIELD TO TABLE: RIGHTS FOR WORKERS IN THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

July 17, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 15 of the Harvesting Justice series

The head chef at a restaurant in Hollywood. This photo was part of the Restaurant Opportunities Center’s (ROC) photo exhibit, “107 Stories: Through Restaurant Workers’ Eyes.” With over 8,000 members, ROC is leading the growing movement for fair wages and rights for restaurant workers throughout the country. Photo © Kellee Matsushita, Brave New Seed Photography.

The Food Chain Workers Alliance has a goal of nothing less than full rights and fair wages for the 20 million workers who grow, harvest, process, pack, ship, cook, serve, and sell food in the US. Begun in 2009, the Alliance brings together 18 organizations representing workers throughout the food supply chain. It is organizing across sectors, building solidarity between workers in different industries. It is pushing for policy changes and educating and activating consumers so that we can all better align our food purchases with our principles. The Alliance also draws attention to the ways in which institutional racism in the US and around the world has produced a food system reliant on the exploitation of immigrants and people of color.

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

July 17, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 17 of the Harvesting Justice series


A family on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of the Southwest makes kneel down bread, a traditional food made with blue corn. Photo: Brett Ramney.
 

“At one point ‘agriculture’ was about the culture of food. Losing that culture, in favor of an American cultural monocrop, joined with an agricultural monocrop, puts us in a perilous state…” says food and Native activist Winona LaDuke.[i]

MORE THAN JUST FOOD: CONNECTING FARM TO COMMUNITY

July 16, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 21 of the Harvesting Justice series


Bissel Gardens Market. Photo courtesy of Just Food.

Just Food in New York City is doing what its name suggests: working to make the food system more just. It does this, first, by making community supported agriculture (CSAs), farmers’ markets, and gardens, more accessible and affordable in the city. Second, it helps small farmers survive, and even thrive, in the process.

FOOD JUSTICE: CONNECTING FARM TO COMMUNITY

June 30, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 21 of the Harvesting Justice series


Kevin Perry of Grow Dat Youth Farm displays the strawberry harvest for a farmer’s market in New Orleans. Photo: Erica Stavis, www.ericastavisphotography.com.

Just Food in New York City is nimbly doing just what its name suggests: building food justice. It does this, first, by making community supported agriculture (CSAs), farmers’ markets, and gardens, accessible and affordable in the city. Second, it helps small farmers survive, and even thrive, in the process.

“The Awakening That’s Happening”: Local, Sustainable Food

June 24, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell Part 18 of the Harvesting Justice series

 

"People are realizing that we can't rely on the industrial food system much longer. The awakening that's happening is our greatest opportunity," says New Mexican farmer and activist Miguel Santistevan. This awakening has sparked the revival of local, sustainable food systems.

We Have a Dream: Farmworkers Organize for Justice

June 24, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 13 of the Harvesting Justice series


Picking tomatoes in Immokalee, Florida, home of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Photo: Courtesy of CIW.

For decades, farmworkers – the more than one million men and women who work in fields and orchards around the country – have been leading a struggle for justice in our food system. They have been building awareness and mobilizing the public, successfully securing some rights, higher wages, and better working conditions. Today, a recent string of victories by the farmworker group Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), together with the steadfast work of other groups, have taken the movement to a whole new level.

“THE REVOLUTION IS GOING TO BE FOUGHT WITH THE HOE” AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT IN NEW MEXICO

June 24, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell
Part 20 of the Harvesting Justice series


Spring cleaning of the acequia that irrigates Sol Feliz farm. Acequias are a traditional irrigation system used through much of New Mexico, and managed democratically by the community. Photo by Miguel Santistevan.

“We’re surrounded by agricultural land but we have no food security. Right now we’re strapped to the global market,” said Miguel Santistevan, a New Mexican farmer and biologist. “Some people are trying to figure out how to set themselves free and are showing other people. It’s as if we were all tied to a train that’s headed off a cliff, and pretty soon a lot of us are saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to jump off this train before it goes.’

“MRS. CLINTON CAN HAVE HER FACTORIES”: A HAITIAN SWEATSHOP WORKER SPEAKS

April 30, 2013

By Beverly Bell

Marjorie Valcelat ran an embroidery machine in a factory from 2005 to 2008. She says the experience made her so sick and weak that she’s not felt able to work since then.

I had three children I had to take care of; their father had left. And since I hadn’t had enough schooling, I didn’t have the skills to do much. So I said to myself, “I’m going to work at a factory.” When I got there, they showed me how to run the machines to embroider slips and nightshirts. I spent a month training, but during that time they didn’t pay me; I had to pay them for the training.

 

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