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The politics and culture of food are often expressed in terms of FOOD SECURITY and FOOD SOVEREIGNTY. These two terms are often used interchangeably, even though they mean different things. Erika Allen of Chicago’s Grower Power explains that FOOD SECURITY considers whether a person knows where his or her next meal is coming from, while food sovereignty defends a community’s right to decide how they’re fed.

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“A community’s right to decide how they’re fed. The term was coined in 1993 by a gathering of farm workers and small stake food producers from around the world. Their first meeting in Mons, Belgium led to the formation of La Via Campesina (“The Peasants’ Way”), which protects the rights of cultures to defend their control over local and regional food systems.”
–LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America, by Douglas Gayeton

“The ability of community members to control food access of outside food sources (such as supermarkets). It’s community elders grow traditional fruits and vegetables and fisher folk go shrimping, fishing, and crabbing to sell at local stores, the local Saturday farmer’s market, and most importantly, to feed their families and community members”.
-Xuyen Pham, MQVN in East New Orleans, LA

“Food security has now been reinterpreted in some places as community food security, as access to fresh, healthy and affordable food not just on an individual level, but within the entire community. The emphasis is on access, but people can have access to food without being in control of those food sources.”
- Professor Kristin Reynolds New School for Public Engagement

“Food is a basic right for all people.”
- Blue Peetz, GRuB

An area where residents lack access to affordable fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat milk, legumes and other food that constitute a healthy diet. Grocery stores are either inaccessible to these shoppers (due to high prices and/or inadequate public transit.) As a result, residents buy food and drinks from gas stations, fast food restaurants and corner stores which primarily sell processed food. This often leaves these individuals at risk for obesity diabetes, and chronic illness. It’s a food drought with less food or no food and lots of hungry people.
– Michelle Lee, Growing Power in Chicago, IL
News & Politics
food security, food sovereignty, food desert, food, sustainability, joel salatin, alice waters, wes jackson, will alen, novella carpenter, paul staments, regenerative, biodynamics, slow food, permaculture

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