"Honestly, that's the essence of Food Sovereignty: when you're growing your own food, you're controlling the production of your food, you're controlling everything about it. To me, that also ties in to land ownership.
The Lower Nine once had the highest Black home ownership rate in the entire city and one of the highest around the country, over sixty-five percent. I think the tragedy is that so many people lost not just their homes, but their property, their land. If you have land, you can build a house on it, you can grow food on it. It's yours and no one can tell you to leave.
I think we play sort of a small part in the larger picture of the food justice efforts. For me, it's very important for our community to honor positive, cultural values and the idea of self-reliance, the idea of health and close-knit community. During our programming, we've never really called out issues of Food Justice, or even really used that terminology, except with our youth interns. But it is there.
I led a training this past season that was specifically about Food Justice so the kids could understand the concepts. I feel like we're teaching the essence of Food Justice through influencing or reintegrating this idea of valuing quality food as a cultural tradition."
"Industrialized, globalized agriculture is a recipe for eating oil. Oil is used for the chemical fertilizers that go to pollute the soil and water. Oil is used to displace small farmers with giant tractors and combine harvesters. Oil is used to industrially process food. Oil is used for the plastic in packaging. And finally, more and more oil is used to transport food farther and father away from where it is produced.”
-Vandana Shiva, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis
As part of launching our Indiegogo campaign, we wanted to interview community partners about their program and perspectives on the Food Justice movement, as well ask them about to share stories of how this movement is transforming individuals within their community.
Our first interview is with Catherine “Cat” Jaffee, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Re:Vision International in Denver Colorado. Catherine spent her first 25 years living in Ecuador, Japan, Australia, France, the US, and Eastern Turkey. She was a National Geographic Young Explorer, a Fulbright Scholar, a Luce Fellow, and the Founder of Balyolu: the Honey Road, in Turkey’s Northeast. She worked in many countries with Ashoka, before joining Re:Vision. You can view the digital story Cat created with StoryCenter online.