Beyond Halal – Whiteness and Alternative Food

Some thoughts on a new book I’m reading entitled, Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability from MIT Press. The volume is edited by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman. I have enjoyed it thus far as it articulates some concerns I’ve had from the slow food and alternative food movements: they are universalisms of white proclivities in regards to food and health.

Extra Links

Tapped – examines the role of the bottled water industry and its’ effects on our health.

Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability – edited by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman.

Short video by Breeze Harper on a similar tip.

Cultivating Food Justice is part of the Summer Reading List 2012.

4 Replies to “Beyond Halal – Whiteness and Alternative Food”

  1. I enjoyed that, thanks. Kept waiting for you to mention Eastern Market, lol. It’s a topic close to home – I was raised in the alternative food movement, if you want to call it that. Back then it was called being a “health food nut” and there was more than a little bit of derision aimed at it. I have a lot of memories of the Cass Corridor Food Coop and helping in my father’s enormous organic garden that sprawled over three lots and the City easement. Watching Whole Foods appear, and the USDA certifying organic foods, and just seeing the whole thing become a mainstream “lifestyle” has been kind of a trip over the years. It’s just another example of America’s ability to coopt threats and reduce issues of social justice to issues of personal consumer choices and status symbols. So health and clean food just becomes another thing you can buy if you have money and access, but the system rolls on basically unaltered. Not much else to say I guess, but I’ll be forwarding the book on to my sister, who works for a food-awareness non-profit in DC now. So thanks for that.

  2. وعليكم السلام

    It’s funny you memtion Eastern Market because it’s been in my mind this whole time reading the book. What I wouldn’t give to have your folks garden now! Philly is a real food desert.

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