Why Food Is A Social Justice Issue

Episode 84 56m


There’s a part of our food system that’s not being talked about: racial inequality.

The division of land, government subsidies, and financial resources that are available favor white farmers. Meanwhile, many of our sustainable farming practices actually stem from African and indigenous roots. Since 1920 African-American farmers have lost over 14 million acres of land.

Combine this with the fact that Black communities are also at a higher risk of illnesses due to a lack of access to fresh, nutritious food. It’s food apartheid. This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy I was joined by Leah Penniman to dig into the racial injustice that continues to smolder in our current food system.

Learn more about the work of Soul Fire Farm at http://www.soulfirefarm.org/ and follow on Facebook @soulfirefarm, on Instagram @soulfirefarm, and on Twitter @soulfirefarm. Follow Leah on Facebook @leah.penniman and on Instagram @leahpenniman.


This episode is brought to you by Joovv, and Thrive Market. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • How Leah got into farming

    (2:14 - 5:53)

  • Why the term "food apartheid" is more accurate than "food desert"

    (8:05 - 11:44)

  • Soul Fire Farm and how it is working to create a new food and farm system

    (16:06 - 19:43)

  • Overcoming the obstacles that keep people of color from becoming farmers

    (23:56 - 27:35)

  • The potential benefits of regenerative agriculture

    (26:16 - 29:55)

  • Leah’s work getting community-supported agriculture paid for with funds from The Farm Bill

    (30:55 - 34:34)

  • The Fairness for Farm Workers Act and why labor protection laws historically excluded farmers

    (32:43 - 36:22)

  • Costa Rica’s ecosystem services model

    (38:34 - 42:13)

  • Internalized racism and the food system

    (41:41 - 45:20)

  • The role of the land in the civil rights movement

    (49:34 - 53:13)

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Ep. 84 - Why Food Is A Social Justice Issue