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Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability (Food, Health, and the Environment) Paperback – October 21, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Race, class, and history aren't foodie strong-points. Yet to turn the food movement into one that fully embraces justice, some difficult discussions lie ahead. The chapters in this splendid and rigorously researched book will help those conversations be better informed, and their outcomes wiser.

(Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing)

The insights, critiques, and guidance presented in this book are timely and profound. Cultivating Food Justice offers a powerful analysis of the dominant food systems in the United States and of the largely white, middle-class alternative food movement that has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. On nearly every page of this book, the contributors share seldom heard stories of ordinary people organizing to produce healthy, sustainable, affordable, and culturally appropriate sustenance for all. Most important, the authors demonstrate that food justice and environmental justice are inseparable.

(David Naguib Pellow, Don A. Martindale Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota; author of Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago; coauthor of The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants versus the Environment in America's Eden)

At a time when food politics are omnipresent and as urgent as ever, this collection delivers a stellar cast and bold set of ideas that weigh in on not just intellectually interesting questions, but also some of the most pressing issues facing people in their everyday struggles. It is a must-read for anybody interested in food politics and environmental justice.

(Nik Heynen, Department of Geography and Center for Integrative Conservation Research (CICR), University of Georgia)

The diversity of theoretical and conceptual approaches, subjects, and authors is refreshing. The dimensions of ethnic identity, racism, and white privilege as they affect the access and control of food-producing resources is highlighted and suggests important new directions in theorizing the political ecology of food and agriculture....The blend of academic and activist chapters provides a good mix of theory, strategy, and tactics.

(Annals of the Association of American Geographers)

The answers to our food system ills are not found simply in opposition to our current food system; community solutions that incorporate racial justice, from production to consumption, are required. I could not agree more. As facilitators of community building, planners have a responsibility to fill in the gaps in representation at the food movement "table" and understand the history of those coming (or not coming) to such a table. The insights in this book provide a foundation and direction for food system planners.

(Jill K. Clark Journal of Planning Education and Research)

Cultivating Food Justice covers important ground previously lacking in food studies and movements, particularly with regard to critical theorizing about race, class, ethnicity, sustainability, and food access, thereby expanding understandings of food justice as both a field of scholarly inquiry and fruitful activism.

(American Studies)

The case studies and theoretical discussions presented in this volume provide very useful insights for food activists, farmers, consumers, and policy-makers regarding the political, economic, and social processes that have influenced our global food system and its related class and racial injustices.

(Rachel S. Madsen Agriculture and Human Values)

About the Author

Alison Hope Alkon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Pacific.

Julian Agyeman is Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the coeditor of Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press) and other books.
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Product Details

  • Series: Food, Health, and the Environment
  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 50644th edition (October 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262516322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262516327
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Alkon and Agyeman have done a masterful job compiling the chapters that make up Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability. Although there have been a smattering of articles employing the "food justice" concept over the past five years, it was not until last year that Gottlieb and Joshi published the book Food Justice, also on MIT Press. Cultivating Food Justice builds off of this book by providing a critical exposition that attends to positionality within the agrifood system, and helps to expand our understanding of food justice by linking race, class, and gender at multiple scales, often blurring boundaries between spaces and experiences of production and consumption. As Alkon and Agyeman note in the Introduction, this book "help(s)to nurture fertile soil in which a polyculture of approaches to just and sustainable agriculture can thrive.

The book is organized in three parts. The first part, "The Production of Unequal Access" investigates the way that racialized systems of exclusion interact with capitalism to create not only food insecurity and hunger, but inequality in who gets to own, control, and grow food on land throughout the United States. For example, in the chapter by Norgaard, Reed, and Van Horten, they explore the racialized environmental history that produced hunger in the Karuk community: "outright genocide, lack of recognition of land occupation and title, and forced assimilation." Minkoff Zern, Peluso, Sowerwine, and Getz also contribute to food justice scholarship with their concept of agricultural racial formations. They explore how Chinese, Japanese, and Hmong farmers' dispossession of their lands is racialized either explicitly or implicitly through a set of laws, policies, or practices that impact specific Asian American groups.
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I picked this up for a book review for a nursing course focusing on Social Justice. It was an okay read. I liked that it covered omissions previously left in the subject of food justice. It is a collection of essays/articles by different authors edited by a couple of professors. This lead to the writing styles being disjointed, some chapters were much better than others. I'd recommend this as a required reading for a class, but not something to curl up with on a rainy day.
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Excellent!
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