Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Monday, September 23, 2013

"People sell their food stamps for rent: my community is hungry." --GD KCMO


As my involvement in the Food(ie) movement increases, and my awareness increases, I am concluding more and more that the "food movements" in the US are predominantly  "foodie" movements by and for a privileged few at best,  and at worst are neoliberal plans to  hand "hunger" over to a private charitable gardening (and other) movement based on an illusion that people who don't have "access to food" have "access to land and everything needed to garden and farm."

Local food only serves about  .467% of the US population.  The food movement in the US largely personified by the Community Food Security  Coalition and more recently the United States Food Sovereignty Alliance (of which this organization is "offically" a member)  fails to address the big corporate control of our food and ag policy, hunger, class, racism,  poverty, unemployment, and declining wages and working conditions--the root cause solutions to land loss, declining farm livelihoods,  hunger, malnourishment and health disparities, i.e. food sovereignty and food justice-- as well as a bevy of other issues of preeminence to po' folks (growing in numbers).  The Community Food Security Coalition is currently officially defunct.

Poor folks are reeling from a bevy of issues, long before they can give concern about what they eat in an unjust society that oppresses, exploits and sadistically twists them in the wind for profit, to keep wages low and also serve for some purely sadistic gratifications.

People are so sick and targeted in the hood (and out of the hood in many cases as well)  that food is the last thing on their mind.

Many people in the hood were farmers in the South before land and livelihood loss drove them off the land.

Many of our Latino and Asian borhters and sisters recent immigrants wer farmers in Mexico and possibly their Asian home countries before Nafta and war drove them from their homelands. 

Protecting themselves and their children from the police and racial and class profiling  and their neighbors is preeminent; housing justice and protecting themselves from oppressive and exploitative landlords including public landlords is next--rats, bedbugs, retaliation, sexual harrassment  and sadism abound.

A long time ago, back in the early 1980's , when I was a young attorney practicing poverty law in Columbus, Ohio, a colleague in the South called housing a form of Jim Crow. 

Mass incarceration, one in every three Black men is incarcerated--police murders--one every 28 hours of 2012 according to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement check out, crumbling schools and an unemployment rate for all Blacks 2x that of white folks, capped off by a predatory and racist medical system and little to no treatment for mental illness--worse yet--bad treatment for profit which just uses poor people to make money--kickin' their health to the curb leaves po' folks sellin' their food stamps for rent and communities hungry.

 While poverty is growin', so too are the numbers of Black, Latino and some Asian groups ( so too is wealth ( us to the apartheid of the past as our future--very little time to worry about what to eat rather than if to eat.

Consequently, I have concluded that the food(ie) movement is simply a shallow movement of "better food for a few" and that the real work of transforming our food and agriculture is yet to be done but will need to directly transform the people's power realtionships with the Big Corporate, Industrialized,  Food and Agriculture System that currently controls our food and agriculture system and that is currently seeking to expand its hegemony globally.

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