industryterm:food deserts

  • Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it
    Its origins can be traced to the colonization of the Americas

    What do you think of when you hear the word “ghetto?” If you’re like most people, you envision black and Latino urban areas. If you know your history, you might think of pre-World War II Warsaw, or the early 20th century migrations of Jews, Italians, and others to the lower East Side tenements of Manhattan. But what comes to mind for the majority of Americans are pictures of the Bronx, Bedford Stuyvesant, Newark, Compton, East LA, West Town, or Englewood. Cities with recognizable earmarks: food deserts, poorly subsidized schools, and inadequate housing. And, like their urban counterparts and Native American reservations, most of these areas were designed to contain particular groups of people and control their movements through economic, political, and physical coercion. The plain fact is that while we sometimes associate ghettos with class, we most frequently see poverty associated with race. But what remains unknown to most Americans is the long and purposeful way that racial categories themselves were brought into existence. Race, as we currently understand it, as we currently live it, is almost entirely a product of the European imagination.
    Much of the existence of race can trace its origins to the colonization of the Americas. The categories and meanings of race have changed over time and geography. Suffice it to say, no one was white or black until the colonization process needed ways of differentiating various rights, privileges, social, and legal standings between various laborers. Fifteenth century European countries were not the modern nation states of today, so there was no concept of being “Italian,” for instance. People identified with regional areas, as Calabrese, Genoan, etc. When Europeans did use the term “race” it was employed to talk about tribal groups, such as the “Teutonic races” and while those categories might have been used as indicators of “types” they were by no means seen as limiting or indicative of innate inferiority. Religion and class were the most important divisions, and race as we know it had not been invented.

  • This is why cities can’t grow all their own food - Conservation

    If every homeowner in Seattle ripped up their lawn and replaced it with edible plants, the resulting crop production would be enough to feed just one percent of the city’s residents, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington.

    They chose nine crops that are well suited to Seattle’s climate – beets, squash, potatoes, carrots, dry beans, barley, kale, hazelnuts, and apples – and calculated the amount of each that would supply the proper amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and micronutrients.

    If all of Seattle’s land in full sun were planted out with crops, it would produce just over 21 percent of the food necessary. But this would require installing gardens on every rooftop, as well as ripping up streets and other impervious surfaces to plant vegetables. And at a certain point, a city without a functioning street grid isn’t really a city anymore.

    If grassy areas throughout Seattle (not just in residential zones) were converted to agriculture, this would yield four percent of the city’s food needs. The tradeoffs here aren’t trivial – where would the kids play soccer? – but the authors say that this number represents a reasonable estimate of Seattle’s maximum food crop production capacity (MFCPC).

    Amid growing interest in urban agriculture and concern about “food miles” traveled from farm to plate, the study is, at first glance, sobering. One to four percent – that’s it? But even if city-grown food can’t supply all nutritional needs, vegetables like kale, spinach, chard, and lettuce have lots of nutrients, can be grown in small spaces, tolerate partial shade, and could increase access to fresh produce in “food deserts” where its availability is currently limited.

    Donc l’#agriculture_urbaine des jardins/pelouses privées de Seattle pourrait produire 1% des besoins alimentaires (calories, protéines ?), et ça monte à 4% si on y met les surfaces cultivables publiques (parcs, terrains de foot ?)

    Ca serait intéressant de croiser les surfaces trouvées avec de la #biointensive ou le scénario « One circle diet »

    cc @koldobika

  • Alternative Foods, Activism and Strawberries in California - Books & ideas

    For instance, because the local food movement has come to cater to relatively wealthy consumers, the food justice movement has been trying to create alternative sources of food in lower-income areas, many of which are populated by non-white people. The idea is to provide healthier, local food to people who live in food deserts: places with little access to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products, places where there were only convenient stores and liquor stores. There has been enormous effort in the last decade to set up community gardens, produce delivery services, farmers’ markets in those neighborhoods. But as my students came to see, much of these efforts are coming from white, affluent people, and are almost a missionary practice. Like most missionary practices, they often don’t resonate in neighborhoods that they are trying to serve. Many people living in those neighborhoods just want a supermarket to be located there, and they don’t want the white hippies telling them what to eat. I wrote an article on this that’s been widely circulated [4]. I have seen how this type of friendly critique helps move the conversation forward. Many of these organizations are now very conscious of the problem and work hard to address the needs of community residents. This is just one example where scholarly critiques have generated a positive response in alternative food movements, which has changed its discourse.

    So much of food studies has becoming focused on assessing the alternatives, with a kind of more activist orientation. I started that trend and I have to confess I am a little tired of it now, even when it is not entirely laudatory and uncritical. Organics, community gardens, farmers markets, community-supported agriculture, food justice are good topics, but these represent a minute percentage of how food is produced and distributed. It’s obviously a lot easier to study people in a community garden or a farmer’s markets than understand how a complex supply chain works, especially given that so much information is proprietary.

    Still, there are new trends that deserve studying. I just put in a proposal for a multicampus collaboration on “science, technology and the future of food” which I hope will be a platform to encourage new directions in food studies. The hope is to look at new food inventions such as in vitro meat or plant proteins as substitutes for eggs, and understand how the boundaries of what constitutes food are being reshaped by such inventions.

  • Atlanta’s food deserts leave its poorest citizens stranded and struggling | Cities | The Guardian

    In most of the world’s densely packed urban areas, you can pick up fresh produce at a stall on the way home from work or buy bread, meat and staples at the cornershop across the street. But in sprawling metro Atlanta, where the model is megamarkets surrounded by mega parking lots, few of us have the option of a quick dash to the store.

    #états-unis #pauvreté #atlanta