Rachel Slocum discusses community food organizations and their goal of promoting fair prices and sustainable practices in farming, as well as accessible, affordable, culturally appropriate nutritious food. She asserts that practicing anti-racism requires an analysis that recognizes intersecting forms of power, privilege cognizance, and specific ways of working in alliances (Slocum 2006, pg. 327). Last year, working on an educational project for Sow Much Good, my group experienced aspects of the white privilege and elitist attitudes that generally surrounds food movements. We were to design brochures about aspects of sustainability that would be applicable to Sow Much Good’s demographic (urban low income communities in Charlotte without easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables). While, searching for information to use and ideas from other organizations we quickly realized finding applicable information would be much harder than we imagined. Most of the information we found was white and/or wealthy elitist centered. Buying Priuses to reduce emissions was not going to be a viable option for the people these brochures were for. Academic articles proved more useful. Many discussed recognizing the negative ideas people of color might have about farming in situations in which they have to work under a white supervisor or ways to make alternative methods of payment (such as EMTs or other services) available instead of yearly payments for garden shares, as Sheriff’s article on healthy local food in England describes (Sheriff 2009, pg 84), could allow for a more diverse range of participants in community gardens.
Sherriff, G. (2009). Towards healthy local food: issues in achieving Just Sustainability. Local Environment. Vol 14, No. 1, pg 72-92.
Slocum, R. (2006). Anti-racist Practice and the Work of Community Food Organizations. Antipode.