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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Black Men in the Food System: Roles and Opportunities, Rural to Urban

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Join three dynamic IATP Food and Community Fellows, Malik Yakini of the Detroit Black Food Security Network, Haile Johnston from Common Market Philadelphia, and Kelvin Graddick, a young farmer who manages the West Georgia Farmers Cooperative, as they discuss the roles and opportunities for Black men in the food system both through a rural and urban lens.

During this webinar you will learn more about the historical, yet forgotten role that African Americans have played in the development of the U.S. food system. Panelists also talk about opportunities for Black men and youth to create a more equitable food system through roles in faith communities, schools and institutions, as well as in their own families and communities.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Malik Yakini 2012 James Beard Foundation Honoree

Malik Yakini was named a 2012 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Honoree. The James Beard Foundation hopes to shed light on the “complex realms of sustainability, food access, and public health” by “celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.” The 2012 Honorees were chosen by an advisory board of a dozen experts committed to advancing food quality and healthful, sustainable practices.

Malik is being recognized specifically for his “work to ensure social justice, food equity, and food security to the people of urban Detroit.” He is being honored alongside author and farmer Wendell Berry and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, among others, and joins the ranks of First Lady Michelle Obama, Growing Power CEO Will Allen, and IATP Food and Community Fellow Deb Eschmeyer, among others, who were honored in 2011.

The 2012 honorees will be honored at a dinner ceremony that will take place during...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Announcing “Generation Food”

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Originally posted on

It has been months in the making, but I’m really pleased to be able to announce my next big project – Generation Food.

Everyone knows we live with a broken food system, but often it is easier to focus on the bad news rather than the good. In fact, we are surrounded by communities that already know how to feed the world for our generation, and for generations to come. From Malawi to Michigan, people and organizations are building better ways to eat today so that all of us can eat well tomorrow. This knowledge demands to be shared and spread.

Changing the food system couldn’t be more urgent. All signs point to that conclusion, whether you consider the droughts, floods and fires caused by climate change, the rise in global food prices, or that the health effects of our current food system is predicted to shorten children’s lives. Better, SMARTER ways of growing food, and feeding the world are needed, now.

That’s why we’re developing a new documentary, book and multimedia project, called Generation Food.

We want to show how ordinary women and men around the worldare overcoming obstacles and “setting the table” for themselves, their communities, and generations to come. Generation Food is our way of sharing the resilience and wisdom of these communities with you, and yours with them online, on screen, on paper and in person.

Our Team

Led by documentary-making legend and award-winning director, Steve James, of Hoop Dreamsand The Interrupters, and best-selling author Raj Patel, of The...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Assembly Required

While the food movement gains steam and several hundred good food advocates across the country gear up after the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s annual Food and Community Gathering, it may be worth our while to stop for a moment and reflect.  Perhaps taking a cue from the Occupy Movement’s General Assembly, this year’s gathering was titled Assembly Required, calling on those of us who identify with the struggle for a more humane and just world created through food to come to the table together.

Coincidentally, this is just what food worker justice struggles have been seeking for years.  Although focused on what might have traditionally been identified as “labor struggles,” organizations like the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, (CIW) the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA), and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en La Lucha (CTUL, Center for Workers United in Struggle, in English) all lend texture to the fabric of sustainable food struggles.  And in doing so, they confront some of the biggest entities in the food world today.

Some of the companies being targeted for food worker injustice may not be a big surprise – such as the FCWA campaign against Darden (owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster) to stop discrimination and wage theft at...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Video: What's at Stake in the 2012 Farm Bill? Health, Innovation and Equity

Named one of "Nine Innovative Food Websites You Can't Live Without" by Forbes, IATP's What's at Stake Series takes a fresh look at seven key issues for the 2012 Farm Bill. As debate of the 2012 farm bill continues, this webinar highlights three key issues from the IATP series: health, equity and publicly funded research. Jennifer Billig discusses how food and agricultural policy is disconnected from concerns for public health even though the health impacts of the farm bill are considerable. Food and Community Fellow and New Mexico farmer Don Bustos focuses on justice and equity issues in the farm bill. In particular, he discusses inequitable support for socially disadvantaged farmers, many of whom grow fruits and vegetables. Mark Muller discusses how public research heavily influences the small price differences that sway important decisions, including those made by corporations about what food products to develop and market, as well as those made by consumers about what to feed their families.

Video: What's at Stake in the 2012 Farm Bill? Health, Innovation and Equity

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Q&A with Fred Bahnson

Fred Bahnson recently did a Q&A with Orion Magazine about his new collection of essays, Making Peace with the Land: God's Call to Reconcile with Creation. Here's an excerpt:

Many readers have heard the term “creation care” before. How does Making Peace with the Land both relate to the idea of creation care and go beyond it? How do you define the word reconciliation, and what does it mean to “reconcile with creation”?

I worry that the phrase “creation care” has suffered the same fate as “the environmental movement.” It’s become one more issue among many.

“At some fundamental level,” I write in the book, “the church views the current ecological crisis as yet another special-interest area. It’s just one more side dish on an already groaning potluck table, no more in need of sampling than the other offerings at the Christian smorgasbord: your tastes might lead you to ecological issues, but I’m more interested in Reformation history, say, or Wesleyan studies or liturgical dance.”

To get around that linguistic impasse, we avoided language like “creation care” and spoke instead about reconciliation. We’re really trying to describe a new way of life. Norman speaks of reconciliation as being able to stand before one another and before God’s creation without shame, and I think...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Valerie Segrest talks traditional foods at the White House

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IATP Food and Community Fellow Valerie Segrest spoke at the White House earlier this month on a panel discussion to highlight the work of local and national stakeholders in the First Lady's Let's Move! in Indian Country Initiative. Valerie is a community nutritionist and member of the Muckleshoot Tribe in the Pacific Northwest. Her comments during the discussion can be found at 1:32 and 1:48.

In the talk, Valerie discussed the recent publication of a book which stemmed from a community-based participatory research project. In it, community members shared their knowledge about barriers to accessing traditional foods and ideas for how to mobilize the community around revitalizing food sources for the future. The information in the book gave birth to the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project, which Segrest now coordinates. "There is a traditional food renaissance happening not only in Muckleshoot but all throughout the Pacific Northwest. I feel blessed to be able to witness the sacred work that's happening."

Segrest ended her talk with an important insight about the sources we look to for knowledge in this work:

"The way in which we honor the old world tradition will determine the scarcity or abundance of this new food system. So it's really important to have our traditional foods and plants at the table and to carry them with us always. My teachers say that the plants are actually our greatest teachers. We need to ask ourselves how we can live a life of generosity and abundance as they do."

Monday, June 11, 2012

On Bloomberg, Liberty and the Big Gulp

Originally posted at

Readers outside the United States may not have heard of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s limit on soda size. He wants there to be a maximum portion size for the consumption of soft drinks. The limit? A very generous 16 oz (or 473 ml, if you prefer). Soft drink portion sizes have grown considerably: in 1955, McDonald’s offered a 7oz cup – now it’s 32oz. Capping the size of drinks sold at restaurants goes a small way to reversing that trend. Of course, if you’d like to consume more, you’re still free to. The only impediment is the indignity of ordering twice.

Predictably, the soda and restaurant industries have howled at the prospect of New Yorkers spending less on lucrative and unhealthy portion sizes. The businesses that profit from poor public health argue that Mayor Bloomberg’s limits on portion size are an infringement on liberty. The beverage industry gets it backwards. Those who choose to drink more than 16 oz of soda are just as free to do it as before. But limiting the extent to which the industry can pump their products makes ever New Yorker a little freer. By limiting the industry’s freedom, this initiative expands the freedom of citizens. As part of a comprehensive strategy for public health, it is a vital step...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bryant Terry on food, culture and getting your kids to eat veggies

Originally published at BabyCenter Blog.

Like many moms, I care deeply about what I feed my children. Especially as I try to blend cultural foods with principles of healthy eating. So you can imagine my sheer glee when I sat down with author, chef and food activist, Bryant Terry and his wife, Jidan Koon. Terry once described his latest cookbook, The Inspired Vegan, as a love note to his daughter, and nothing complements each other better than food and love. Even, I learned, when it comes to vegetables.

Mocha Manual Moms: Bryant, what’s the most important thing for parents to remember about how we feed our families?

Bryant Terry: We are the first teachers of our children. Modeling is the most important type of teaching a child. They mimic our behavior. Even thought, so many parents are in a situation where we have to send our children out for other people to take care of them—it’s still our responsibility to equip them to feed themselves healthfully. It’s about laying a foundation.

It’s also important to remember that...

Meet the Fellows

Kimberly Seals Allers

Kimberly Seals Allers, an award-winning journalist and author, is a champion for children through her work advocating increased breastfeeding in the black community.

Ideas in focus

Cultivating Leadership and Equity in the Food Movement

April 2013

The IATP Food and Community Fellows Program is coming to an end, but it's springtime for our work growing equity in the food system and cultivating diverse leadership in the movement.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

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