New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

One community garden at a time: how New Yorkers are fighting for food justice

We didn’t call it food justice before – we called it survival.’ Photograph: Edward Helmore for the Guardian.

Tanya Fields’ Libertad Urban Farm joins a city-wide movement to redistribute resources to poor communities that are systemically deprived of healthy food

By Edward Helmore
The Guardian
12 June 2017

Excerpt:

For the past three summers, Tanya Fields produced a veritable cornucopia of fruits and vegetables at the Libertad Urban Farm in the South Bronx. But then disaster struck: “We got burglarized three times by a crackhead. He took everything. The pears, the grill – anything he thought had value. He knocked down the shed, destroyed the tomato vines and stole the eggplant.”

These difficulties are surely a setback, but they have not dulled Fields’ commitment to the issues of food justice and food equality, an emerging aim of community-focused activism across the US sometimes described as “communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food”.

The terminology of food justice may help to draw attention to the striking parallels between poor nutrition, discrimination and reduced life expectancy. According to a 2011 study by the Food Research and Action Center, low-income families are 30% more likely to be overweight or obese due to lack of access to quality fruits and vegetables.

Fields, who has worked as a community activist in the Bronx for more than a decade since being squeezed out of a rapidly gentrifying Harlem, says the concept isn’t new, just the term. “We didn’t call it food justice before – we called it survival. We attached some fancy vernacular, but really it’s just the same shit we’ve been talking about for years.”

Read the complete article here.