• Ellen Harris

#1 Table & Plate Bites of Wisdom

Updated: Aug 10


To gain wisdom and knowledge about the world of food it’s important to understand the interconnectedness of eating to history, culture, politics, recipes (or not), new and well loved cookbooks, community action, thought leaders, and a multitude of stories in this case focusing on the African Diaspora. Take a look at the highlights below that we’ll feature through Table & Plate Bites of Wisdom.


Culture Eats: Habits, Cooking, Networks & Business

The number of businesses owned by African-American women is growing exponentially. This creates all kinds of opportunity for the economy and the communities where the businesses are located. The organization, Food Tank, compiled a list of 14 African-American female entrepreneurs who have incorporated sustainable food production practices into their business motto.

https://foodtank.com/news/2019/04/14-women-of-color-leading-change-in-the-u-s-food-system/


The website, Black Foodie, features food and culture through a Black lens. Recipes galore from the African Diaspora can be found.

http://blackfoodie.co/category/recipes


You might want to visit New York in February 2020 when the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) brings the exhibition, African/American: Making the Nation’s Table, to The Africa Center in Harlem. Dr. Jessica B. Harris, a leading expert on the foods of the African Diaspora, will curate the exhibition, which will feature musical selections by Questlove, tastings by Chef Carla Hall, and a restoration of the historic Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen.

https://www.6sqft.com/first-major-exhibition-to-highlight-african-american-culinary-history-coming-to-harlem-next-year/


The Central Brooklyn Food Coop, a 5- year old black-led cooperative, in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights is trying to raise funds for a building down payment and rent. They hope to open the co-op in spring 2020 to “ensure access to affordable and fresh food within the mostly-of-color, low- and moderate-income communities of Central Brooklyn.

https://bklyner.com/black-led-coop-wants-to-end-food-inequality-in-bed-stuy-and-crown-heights/


Although it appears with no date, this is an interesting article posted by the National Peanut Board about young Black chefs rediscovering roots of African heritage in American cuisine.

https://www.nationalpeanutboard.org/news/young-black-chefs-rediscover-roots-african-heritage-in-american-cuisine.htm


Community Gardens & Local Farms

Great list of Black owned farms and food gardens across the country.

https://shoppeblack.us/2019/04/black-owned-farms-food-gardens/


Profiles New Communities Land Trust, a farm collective which works to help rural Black landowners profit from farming.

https://www.apr.org/post/5-decades-later-communities-land-trust-still-helps-black-farmers.


BLISS (Baltimore Living in Sustainable Simplicity) Meadows, a community farm which aims to teach community members to grow their own food and cook new dishes.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-bliss-meadows-20190826-d47jegag6ze7ff4a6t7m7rilsu-story.html


Geiger, AL, residents partner with Sumter County Extension and Auburn University to operate a community garden with wonderful results.

https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/solutions-journalism/2019/03/29/rural-alabama-community-gardens-help-address-obesity-and-poverty/3289067002/


Reframing the history of Black agriculture through highlighting resistance and resilience is the aim of Dr. Monica White’s new book, “Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement” (UNC Press/2018).

https://www.wunc.org/post/freedom-farmers-agriculture-means-resilience


Very nice to see how the Black Church Food Security Network works directly with Black farmers and congregations to address health, food accessibility and self-determination issues.

https://faithandleadership.com/network-black-farmers-and-black-churches-delivers-fresh-food-soil-sanctuary


Food Policy, Politics & Social Justice

Excellent article captures Black farmers, business owners, vegans and others changing the landscape of food in Baltimore, MD.

https://civileats.com/2019/11/05/baltimore-is-at-the-vanguard-of-a-national-black-vegan-movement/


Interesting article on the manipulation of Census of Agriculture data and it’s impact on Black farming.

https://newfoodeconomy.org/usda-black-farmers-discrimination-tom-vilsack-reparations-civil-rights/


A physical and historical tour of Black farmland loss in the Mississippi Delta.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/09/this-land-was-our-land/594742/


Story of how Black farmer lost his farm when Koch Foods, one of the country’s largest chicken companies, wouldn’t contract with him. Koch Foods’ facility in Morton, Mississippi, also was part of the largest workplace immigration sweeps in years; hundreds were rounded up, but no company officials charged.

https://www.propublica.org/article/black-farmers-say-a-top-chicken-company-turned-them-away


A coalition of farmers and farming organizations support the Green New Deal incentives and programs. Their platform represents “integrating social and environmental priorities into a cohesive vision for the future of farming.”

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2019/09/thousands-of-farmers-and-ranchers-tell-congress-they-are-crucial-to-the-climate-fight/


Dallas is featured in this article showing how growing numbers of African Americans and Latinx are food insecure because they don’t have access to healthy foods. While some call these areas “food deserts,” a growing body of food justice activists have started using the term, food apartheid.

https://blavity.com/food-is-political-how-food-apartheid-is-deeply-impacting-black-communities?category1=opinion

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