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The Green New Deal and the Future of Food Justice

Authors: Maggie Dickinson*, CUNY
Topics: Food Systems, Political Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Food Justice,
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Green New Deal offers an unprecedented opportunity for food justice movements to overcome some of the historic challenges to realizing a more just food system. Scholars studying food justice movements and grassroots organizations consistently note the disconnect between the ‘radical visions’ and ‘neoliberal constraints’ of food justice efforts [1], including issues of scale, the realities of an austere philanthropic environment, and the internal race and class dynamics that often center white and middle class perspectives and concerns. A GND that actually achieves “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers”[2] will require the creation of a new historic bloc that can exercise power to pass sweeping, transformational policy in a range of sectors – from energy and agricultural policy to labor laws and land distribution. In New York, scholars, activists and practitioners have begun to build coalitions across the food system to generate a food justice agenda for a state and city-level GND. What has emerged is an understanding that our current, corporate food system is the product of regulations and policies that encourage low wages, land consolidation, and wasteful, carbon intensive production of cheap food. Food justice organizations, on the other hand, have produced a plethora of practical demonstrations of alternatives. Identifying these efforts and demanding that they be scaled up through policies like a federal jobs guarantee, regulations on food waste, and support for agro-ecological farming practices will be crucial to realizing a GND with food justice at the center.

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