Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Farmer’

Feeding Democracy While Serving Dinner by Gina Giazzoni

February 1, 2010

Feeding Democracy While Serving Dinner

by Gina Giazzoni

Food Sovereignty is a burgeoning movement transferring food production and distribution to those who are now literally starved for lack of control. Food should be grown with the primary purpose of eating – not sold as a commodity. Processing of food should allow people to store it in their homes – not ship in trucks or boats, or store it in a warehouse or on a grocery shelf for years. Distribution should ensure that hungry people get good food in their bellies. And the food that people consume should be connected to culture: to our grandparents’ food secrets and recipes.

Over the past few months, staff and members of Weaver’s Way Food Co-op, staff and students from Martin Luther King High School’s Seeds for Learning Farm met to form the Northwest Philadelphia Food Justice Alliance and organize food justice in West Oak Lane where the need is urgent. When grumblings of belly hunger become a chronic roar, a hamburger and a milkshake satisfy faster than a salad. Fast food industrial profits mushroom by relieving chronic hunger pangs with cheap fat and sugar. Yum Brands Inc., parent of the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC predicts $1.54 billion dollars in profits this year. After saturating low-income neighborhoods across this country, they began gobbling poor people worldwide—expanding first to China and now to India. The hidden health cost to chronically hungry people is more than $1 for a satisfying value meal. This is the food that eats people. Low-income people disproportionately suffer from diet-related diseases such as diabetes, resulting from obesity.

By contrast, Food Sovereignty builds a colorful and fragrant vision outside the industrial food system, challenging inequities that depress, sicken, and ultimately kill people and communities. More food is grown within regions and neighborhoods, reducing dependence on remote boardrooms. Seeds are saved to ensure vitality of small farms, and biodiversity. Scraps are recycled to build soil for organic cropping. Farmers and farm workers are honored and rewarded for civilization’s most essential labor.

The Food Justice movement recognizes that hunger is profitable to those few who buy our politicians, but hurts the rest of us. Though income is the widely accepted source of this disparity, Food Justice asserts that structural inequalities and power imbalances of our food systems underlie the racial inequities of hunger. According to The Food Trust, one in three poor adults in Philadelphia reports fair or poor quality of groceries in their neighborhood. Only 11 percent of white adults report having fair or poor quality groceries, compared to 31 percent of African-American adults, 24 percent of Latinos and 15 percent of Asians.  Broader than food security and public health, Food Justice regards class, race, and gender equity as core principles behind food access and linked to both environmental and health justice.

The Northwest Philadelphia Food Justice Alliance is partnering with West Oak Lane Senior Center, and Einstein Healthcare Network to plan a West Oak Lane Good Food Fest on February 20. The event will feature cooking demonstrations guided by senior citizens, who will pass their skills and cooking expertise to community members seeking community-led alternatives to fast food. Recognizing the influence that teens have among youngsters in the community, students who work at Seeds for Learning Farm will guide youngsters in preparing wholesome snacks and planting seedlings for their homes.

There is no magic pill, no Food Justice Headquarters, no single leader or perfect organization that will rise to create food democracy. Instead, the answers sprout from the rich cultures and traditions that already exist in our communities. Recognizing this, Food Sovereignty challenges not only the corporate profit motives that sicken and hunger people, but also the structural hierarchies, including an undemocratic government that has well-fed, wealthy leaders, legislating policies on behalf of hungry people. By collectively organizing in our communities we can demand the right to food justice and promote food sovereignty through projects that support people’s control of our food systems.

Wassaic Community Farm

January 29, 2010

Wassaic Community Farm!

Wassaic Community Farm located in Wassaic, New York is a third year small farm project with a mission to address food justice issues in the South Bronx and locally in Wassaic. We have a quarter acre raised bed garden and a 3 acre plot within walking distance of a train line to NYC. We grown mixed vegetables and herbs using organic and permaculture techniques. We run a farmers market out of Padre Plaza, a community garden in the Bronx. This year, we are offering a Weekly Share CSA program, as well as developing an educational program for youth. You may contact us through or to learn more about all of our programs.

New York City Community Gardens Coalition 2010

January 27, 2010

In 2002, most community gardens were saved by a legal agreement which expires in September, 2010. Will community gardens be safe after the agreement expires?

The New York City Community Gardens Coalition 2010 is happening:

When: Saturday, February 6, 2010 from 9:00am – 4:30pm

Where: The New School, 66 West 12th Street, NYC 

Keynote speaker: Livia Marques; US Department of Agriculture People’s Garden Initiative

East New York Farms! Grub Party

January 18, 2010

Join East New York Farms!, Jin’s Journey, Food Security Roundtable and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Brooklyn Food Coalition, and United Community Centers for a potluck Grub dinner on February 5th, 2010 at 8:00pm Bring your dish, your own plate, cup, and utensils, and write your recipe on an index card!

Where & when?

United Community Centers 

613 New Lots Avenue @ corner of Schenck Avenue

Take 3 train to Van Siclen Avenue

We invite the urban farmers, gardeners, cooks, chefs, food activists, food bloggers & foodies of Brooklyn to come grub with us. Meet fellow food enthusiasts, build new relationships and learn about the food related initiatives taking place in Brooklyn.

Sponsors: East New York Farms!, Jins’ Journey, Food Security Roundtable, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, United Community Centers, Brooklyn Food Coalition.

It’s a potluck bring a dish/dessert or beverage to share! 

What is a Grub party? An event where community, groups and organizations gather to eat good food and have good conversation. The food  will center around local and seasonal food  brought by the guests.

Questions Email:

Where do you, the eater, want your food to come from?

December 11, 2009

I think the question is: where do you the eater want your food to come from? A farm or a factory?

If the answer is farm, put down your fork and ask this question aloud:

Where did my food come from?

Then, go to an urban farm, community garden, working farm, or farmers’ market and ask the growers the following:

How do I either grow the food that I eat or how can I help you grow the food that we eat?

This is the beginning. This is the beginning of the food justice movement started by the people. The people that eat and grow the food. Join together and stop shopping, stop eating factory food, and start farming together. Start growing our food. Find out who your community organizers are and then help them get better organized. Demand farmers’ markets in every neighborhood. Ask for what you and your community need. Not tomorrow but today. Start fighting and fight hard and don’t stop until everyone, and I mean everyone is given, or has asked for, or demanded the freshest, healthiest local food that our bodies, all of our bodies, and minds, and spirits deserve and need in order to function and survive and thrive.

This is where the movement begins . The movement begins with the people. With our people. With us.