Friday, 15 September 2017

Growing Food, Growing Consciousness: Gardening and Social Justice in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Commentary Authors Christina Mello, Lisa Oliver King, Inez Adams First published: 13 September 2017Full publication history DOI: 10.1111/cuag.12091 View/save citation Cited by (CrossRef): 0 articles Check for updates Abstract Our Kitchen Table (OKT) is a female-led organization that advocates on behalf of women with children as well as low-income earners afflicted by food insecurity and environmental health disparities in Southeast Grand Rapids, MI. OKT created the Food Diversity Project (FDP) to address the structural causes of these disparities. Premised on the principle of food justice, the FDP supplies community members with the tools and the education that they need to take ownership of their food system, while also addressing structural racism. Organizational activities focus on the relationship between growing food and reducing exposure to environmental toxins. Residents are informed about environmental threats linked to food insecurity and equipped with skills in agriculture and activism to effectively address these problems within their households and beyond. In this report, the founding member and consulting anthropologists outline the instrumental importance of this work, as well as provide a summary of the FDP, its activities, and measurable outcomes.