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Harvesting Justice

A weekly blog series adapted from Other Worlds\u2019 hot-off-the-press

Part of the Series

“Over a half-century ago, Mahatma Gandhi led a multitude of Indians to the sea to make salt in defiance of the British Empire’s monopoly on this resource critical to people’s diet. The action catalyzed the fragmented movement for Indian independence and was the beginning of the end for Britain’s rule over India. The act of ‘making salt’ has since been repeated many times in many forms by people’s movements seeking liberation, justice and sovereignty: César Chávez, Nelson Mandela, and the Zapatistas are just a few of the most prominent examples. Our food movement – one that spans the globe – seeks food sovereignty from the monopolies that dominate our food systems, with the complicity of our governments. We are powerful, creative, committed and diverse. It is our time to make salt.”

So began a statement from the People’s Movement Assembly on Food Sovereignty from the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in 2010, which launched a national movement. So, too, begins a weekly blog series adapted from Other Worlds’ hot-off-the-press, 140-page book: Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture Systems in the Americas. The book is the result of five years of interviews and on-site research from throughout the hemisphere, describing strategies to win food justice and food sovereignty. It draws from more than 100 cutting-edge successes, grassroots alternatives, and inspiring models.

Harvesting Justice was created to share stories of some of the countless changes propelled by communities and movements in the Americas, to inspire hope that we are not condemned to live within the industrial food system as-is, and to offer tools for organizing and education. From community gardens to just global policy, a national and global movement is growing to reclaim food, land, and agricultural systems from agribusiness and put them back in the hands of people. A common thread links innovations and successes happening simultaneously around the globe: a vision of a society that values life and the earth over profit. In the U.S., the parts of the movement have often worked in isolation from each other, but in fact they are all pieces of an inseparable whole. They address the well-being of the land, the right to food for all, an end to corporate control of agriculture, and everything in between.

Read the Truthout series:

Defending Indigenous Lands and Waters in Honduras: The Case of Rio Blanco

The Ancestral Values We Inherited: Protecting Indigenous Water, Land and Culture in Mexico

“They Fear Us Because We Are Fearless”: Reclaiming Indigenous Lands and Strength in Honduras

Without Our Land, We Cease to Be a People: Defending Indigenous Territory and Resources in Honduras

We Don’t Have Life Without Land: Holding Ground in Honduras

Food for Body, Food for Thought, Food for Justice: People’s Grocery in Oakland, California

Food Justice: Connecting Farm to Community

“The Revolution Is Going to Be Fought With the Hoe”: Agriculture and Environment in New Mexico

Meet Up, Eat Up, Act Up: Consumers Join the Movement for Food Workers’ Rights

“The Awakening That’s Happening”: Local, Sustainable Food

Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture: Reviving Native Food and Farming Traditions

Bringing the Food Home: Local Food and Agricultural Systems

From Field to Table: Rights for Workers in the Food Supply Chain

We Have a Dream: Farmworkers Organize for Justice

Weeding Corporate Power Out of Agricultural Policies: Communities Mobilize for Food and Farm Justice

Seeds of Change: Shifting National Agricultural Policies

Farmers and Consumers vs. Monsanto: David Meets Goliath

Food Sovereignty: Think Globally, Eat Locally

Harvesting Justice: Transforming the Global Food Supply Chain

Food and Land at the Service of People: an Interview with Peter Rosset

Women’s Work: Gender and the Global Food System

Uprooting Racism in the Food System: African Americans Organize

“The Consumer’s Got to Change the System”: Farmer Ben Burkett on Racism and Corporate Control of Agriculture

The True Cost of Industrialized Food

From Growing Profit to Growing Food: Challenging Corporate Rule

To supplement Harvesting Justice with some reflection and action, check out Sowing Seeds for Learning and Action, the popular education curriculum accompanying the book. The curriculum includes more than a hundred games, discussion guides, and action items. It’s ideal for sparking discussion on everything from workers’ rights to community gardens to racism in the food system – and how they all fit together. The Harvesting Justice website’s Resources & Action section also offers hundreds of ideas for organizations, campaigns, and action steps to get involved.

Harvesting Justice was created for the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, which works to “end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system.”

Read more from Other Worlds here, and follow Other Worlds on Facebook and Twitter.

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