Food sovereignty in US food movements: radical visions and neoliberal constraints
- 4.5k Downloads
Although the concept of food sovereignty is rooted in International Peasant Movements across the global south, activists have recently called for the adoption of this framework among low-income communities of color in the urban United States. This paper investigates on-the-ground processes through which food sovereignty articulates with the work of food justice and community food security activists in Oakland, California, and Seattle, Washington. In Oakland, we analyze a farmers market that seeks to connect black farmers to low-income consumers. In Seattle, we attend to the experiences of displaced immigrant farmers from Latin America and their efforts to address their food needs following migration. In both cases, we find that US based projects were constrained by broader forces of neoliberalism that remained unrecognized by local activists. In Oakland, despite a desire to create a local food system led by marginalized African Americans, emphasis on providing green jobs in agriculture led activists to take a market-based approach that kept local food out of the economic grasp of food-insecure neighborhood residents. In Seattle, the marginalization of the immense agroecological knowledge of Latino/an immigrant farmers rendered local food projects less inclusive and capable of transformative change. Taken together, these very different cases suggest that a shift towards food sovereignty necessitates a broad acknowledgement of and resistance to neoliberalism.
KeywordsFood sovereignty Food justice Community food security Social movements Neoliberalism
- Alkon, A.H., and J. Agyeman. 2011. Cultivating food justice: Race, class, and sustainability. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Allen, P. 2004. Together at the table: Sustainability and sustenance in the American agrifood system. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State Press.Google Scholar
- Balassa, B. 1982. The theory of economic integration. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Burawoy, M., A. Burton, A. Arnett Ferguson, and K.J. Fox. 1991. Ethnography unbound: Power and resistance in the modern metropolis. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Chossudovsky, M. 2003. The globalization of poverty and the new world order. Quebec: Global Research.Google Scholar
- Community Food Security Coalition. n.d. What is community food security? Community Food Security Coalition Website. http://www.foodsecurity.org/views_cfs_faq.html. Accessed 24 June 2010.
- Del Clarke Jr., V.J., and C.L. Jocoy. 2008. Intervention: Neoliberal subjectivities, the “New” homelessness, and struggles over spaces of/in the city. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 40(2): 192–199.Google Scholar
- Desmarais, A.A. 2007. La Via Campesina: Globalization and the power of peasants. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
- Gilbert, J., G. Sharp, and S. Felin. 2002. The loss and persistence of black-owned farms and farmland: A review of the research literature and its implications. Southern Rural Sociology 18: 1–30.Google Scholar
- Glasser, B., and A. Struass. 1967. The discovery of grounded theory: Strategy for qualitative research. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Gold, M.E. 1996. The privatization of prisons. Urban Law Review 28: 359–380.Google Scholar
- Guthman, J. 2011. Weighing in: Obesity, food justice and the limits of capitalism. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Harper, A., A. Shattuck, E. Holt-Gimenez, A. Alkon, and F. Lambrick. 2009. Food policy councils: Lessons learned. Oakland, CA: Food First.Google Scholar
- Harvey, D. 2005. A brief history of neoliberalism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Heany, J., and T. Hayes. n.d. Redlining food: How to ensure community food security. http://www.foodfirst.org/node/1452. Accessed 5 Jan 2012.
- Holt-Gimenez, E. 2011. Food Security, food justice, or food sovereignty? Crises, food movements, and regime change. In Cultivating food justice: Race, class, and sustainability, ed. A. Alkon, and J. Agyeman, 309–330. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Holt-Gimenez, E. 2006. Campesino a campesino: Voices from Latin America’s farmer to farmer movement for sustainable agriculture. Oakland, CA: Food First Books.Google Scholar
- Lawson, L. 2005. City bountiful: A century of community gardening in America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- McClintock, N. 2011. From industrial garden to food desert: Unearthing the root structure of urban agriculture in Oakland, California. In Cultivating food justice: Race, class, and sustainability, ed. A. Alkon, and J. Agyeman, 89–120. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- McMichael, P. 2005. Global development and the corporate food regime. In New directions in the sociology of global development (Research in rural sociology and development, Volume 11), ed. F.H. Buttel, and P. McMichael, 265–299. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.Google Scholar
- Mo’ Better Foods. N.d. mobetterfood.com. Accessed 2005–2008.Google Scholar
- Schiavoni, C. 2009. The global struggle for food sovereignty: From Nyéléni to New York. Journal of Peasant Studies 36(3): 682–689.Google Scholar
- Shah, A. 2010. A Primer on neoliberalism. Global Issues. Available from http://www.globalissues.org/article/39/a-primer-on-neoliberalism. Accessed 5 Jan 2011.
- Shiva, V. 2005. Earth democracy. New York: South End Press.Google Scholar
- Smith, W.C., Carlos H. Acuña, and E. Gamarra. 1994. Democracy, markets, and structural reform in Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
- Via Campesina. 2009. Nyéléni declaration. Journal of Peasant Studies 36(3): 673–676.Google Scholar
- Vorley, W.T. 2001. The chains of agriculture: Sustainability and the restructuring of agri-food markets. WSSD Paper. London: International Institute for Environment and Development.Google Scholar
- Williamson, J. 1990. What Washington means by policy reform. In Latin American adjustment: How much has happened?, ed. John Williamson. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics.Google Scholar
- Wittman, H. 2009. Interview: Paul Nicholson, La Via Campesina. Journal of Peasant Studies 36(3): 676–682.Google Scholar