Our Food System is everything involved in production, processing, distribution, consumption to waste. From farm to table! Our current production system has been very successful but, with consequences. We have never produced more food worldwide, but we are dealing with unprecedented numbers of Malnutrition, Obesity, Chronic hunger, and Chronic disease.
The mono-crop production and processing of corn, wheat, and soy in our country have had major social, economic, and environmental impacts. We have created a society of malnutrition and over-nutrition. Some people are famished from malnutrition as they are not getting the proper nutrients from their food. Over-nutrition can result in chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis), and cancer because food options are unhealthy.
Urban areas and minority populations have been impacted the most. Healthy options aren’t widely available, or at all in many neighborhoods. And if they are, transportation can be an issue. Cheaper, more convenient, more addictive options are closer. Sugar and refined flours are as addictive and effects the same parts of the brain as narcotics.
Food security is commonly defined as the physical, social and economic ability to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food. So, access to not only healthy food, but opportunities to progress in education, land, and business ownership are essential to addressing systemic food security issues. In the Northeast there are only ten black owned farms and only two in Connecticut!
A global solution in food policy would be to increase minimum wage to make a real impact for people struggling. Another is making food for all students universally accessible. Breakfast and lunch for all kids who need it would help many families.
Some of great phrases tied to solutions are “hyper-local” “sustainable” and “agro-ecosystem“. All are connected to using locally produced food and local organizations to promote grassroots change from the community level. We can all try our best to support food justice programs, community organizations as well as minority-owned businesses and farms and continue to shop for locally produced goods whenever we can.
Book: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Documentary: A Place at The Table (2012) Prime Video
Here is a great link to get an idea of how many minority-owned farms there are in your region: https://blackfarmersindex.com/region-1