The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action

The New Food Activism explores how food activism can be pushed toward deeper and more complex engagement with social, racial, and economic justice and toward advocating for broader and more transformational shifts in the food system. Topics examined include struggles against pesticides and GMOs, efforts to improve workers’ pay and conditions throughout the food system, and ways to push food activism beyond its typical reliance on individualism, consumerism, and private property. The authors challenge and advance existing discourse on consumer trends, food movements, and the intersection of food with racial and economic inequalities.

Our December podcast will feature two contributing authors, Joann Lo and Tanya Kerssen, and co-editor Alison Alkon. This will be a good one!

Praise for The New Food Activism

“A convincing roundup that demonstrates that the food movement is (finally) coming of age, The New Food Activismis a chronicle of a dozen important victories around agriculture, justice, public health, and more, which points the way toward a future in which food is increasingly a focus of crucial rights movements. A must-read for food organizers and their allies.”

—Mark Bittman, food columnist and author of How to Cook Everything

“People want to eat ethically, and to do that, they need to care about the well-being of workers throughout the food system. This book highlights a promising direction for food activism, one that puts the lived experience of those who grow, cook, and serve our food at the center of its call for systemic transformation.”

— Saru Jayaraman, author of Forked: A New Standard for American Dining

The New Food Activism is one of the most important books on food this century. It is required, inspiring, and challenging reading for every student of food, every ‘foodie,’ as well as every grower, worker, and eater in today’s food system. In this groundbreaking book, the authors develop a powerful critique of our food system and our mainstream food movements. In the process, they provide diverse, inspiring examples of food activism that foreground race and class equity while pushing against industrial, corporate control of our food. This unique book and the food campaigns it analyzes are critical to the possibility of true food justice. This book nourishes new realities in our food system.”

—Seth Holmes, author of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States

About the Authors

Alison Hope Alkon is Associate Professor of Sociology and cofounder of the master’s degree program in food studies at the University of the Pacific. She is the author of Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy and coeditor of Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability. Follow Allison on Twitter: @aliehope.

Joann Lo is codirector of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, a national coalition of worker organizations throughout the food system. A graduate of Yale University, she has almost 20 years of experience in labor and community organizing. Follow Joann on Twitter: @JoannLo4.

Tanya Kerssen writes and teaches on the political economy of food, agriculture, and international development. She is the author of Grabbing Power: The New Struggles for Land, Food, and Democracy in Northern Honduras and is part of the Real Food Media team. Follow Tanya on Twitter: @tkerssen.

Header photo by naomiwolf/flickr