As we’ve learned from the 2016 election, misinformation and outright lying can destroy credibility and create unforeseen outcomes. The only way to combat the pitfalls of ignorance is through self-disciplined critical reading, research, and being vocal of mistakes and lies spread online. In other words, research what you read, become informed on the topics important to you and know where the tools are to act on your knowledge.
Education is justice.
Some great places to start with general fact checking on a policy level are politifact.com and factcheck.org. These are just two of the most prolific fact checking organizations but represent a fraction of the resources available.
The best defense against the tyranny of any type is education. So educate yourself. Here’s a short and not nearly exhaustive list of resources to learn more about Food Justice and it’s sister social justice causes.
Food Justice Definitions
But first, it may be prudent to identify a few of the key terms in the Food Justice movement.
Community Food Security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice. -WhyHunger.org
Food Justice is communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment. – JustFood.org
Food insecurity—the condition assessed in the food security survey and represented in USDA food security reports—is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. USDA.gov
Hunger is an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity. – USDA.gov
Food Justice Resources – both tools and educational materials to forward food justice.
JustFood.org “empowers and supports community leaders to advocate for and increase access to healthy, locally-grown food, especially in underserved NYC neighborhoods.” And through serving the NYC area, they have a vast collection of educational materials and tools for the food justice advocate.
Albafarmers.org operates as an association of organic farmers. This organization has compiled a huge pool of resources for agricultural and renewable farming methods.
The Peoples Grocery is an Oakland-based organization encouraging a diversified, local, and sustainable community. They also utilize the food justice platform to forward the conversation on racial equity in the community. Though they may be based in Oakland, CA, they have amassed tons of resources for education and food justice organizations as well as individuals.
Food Rescue Alliance, a program of Boulder Food Rescue, promotes an alliance of individuals and organizations who participate in just-in-time food rescue to redirect perishable foods to those in needs. The model promotes sustainable and inclusive practices. The Food Rescue Alliance offers a complete start up kit along with monitoring software.
FarmFolk/CityFolk is a nonprofit working to cultivate sustainable food systems on a local scale. They work with local growers and producers to build local food systems. They have a large section of resources from both their work and sister organizations.
Food First, a project that takes a historical and policy driven look at ending injustices that are the bedrock of hunger and hunger-related issues. Food First sees a world with healthy, sustainable, and ecologically responsible, produced foods. They have been studying food systems for over 40 years and see a way forward that requires political transformation. They are a wealth of resources for both local education and national policy.
Farm Bill Primer is a site dedicated to educating the public about our Farm Bill. If you don’t know what that is and you’re interested in anything to do with food in this country, head over there and start reading.
More places to read and things to watch
Want something to watch instead? Try
- The Weight of the Nation – a multipart documentary about our growing obesity problem.
- That Sugar Film looks at just the idea of added sugars in our foods.
- Food Inc. A little behind the scenes of our nations food industry.
- Here are 7 More you might want to watch.
For a more comprehensive listing of resources available for food justice warriors, please visit the Community Alliance for Global Justice based in Seattle Washington.
And Finally, check out this Food Justice Toolkit put together by the Rural Advancement Foundation International.