Cultural Sensitivity in Food

ebrimaBy Evan Kutz

In part our series on the intersections of food and race, The Food Fix spoke with Shane Bernardo, a long-life Detroiter and community organizer working in Detroit’s grass roots food movement to bring culturally relevant foods to minority communities.

Shane grew up working in his family’s small, ethnic grocery store in Westside Detroit, where they worked to cultivate a safe, nurturing environment for the Asian, African and Afro-Caribbean community to purchase culturally relevant foods and share recipes, traditions and rituals linked to these foods. As a result, Shane developed a heightened awareness of social and economic conditions within a racially, ethnically and culturally stratified Detroit.

Now, Shane works for a number of grass roots organizations, such as Detroit Food Justice Task Force, Uprooting Racism: Planting Justice, The People’s Platform Detroit and Equitable Detroit Coalition.

Recently, Shane’s been speaking at different public forums, focusing on how important food is for health, healing and spirituality. As the son of first generation Filipino immigrants, Shane speaks about the cultural and spiritual connection with food that his family and many other immigrant families have lost.

Listen to that interview here.


Teaching Consumers about the Politics of their Food

Arkansas currently grows the most commercial edamame in the U.S. Image: Pamela Reed

By Lauren Caramagno.

Lina Yamashita is a doctoral candidate at the University of California Davis. As part of her research, Yamashita is teaching consumers where their food comes from and how to spend their dollars on sustainable and fair food practices.

We caught up with Yamashita to talk about this work, and how to teach consumers the politics of their food.

Listen to that interview here.

The Good Food Purchasing Program

2+Freshness+DateBy Hannah Holliday

In 2012, the Good Food Purchasing Program in Los Angeles began to transform how public institutions, like schools, bought food.

It focuses on purchasing and providing food that improves local economies, environmental sustainability, workforce conditions, animal welfare and nutrition.

We spoke with Joann Lo who chaired the Los Angeles Food Policy Council which created the program. It now has campaigns in major cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois.

Listen to that interview here.

Student innovators advocate for Lilongwe market vendors

LUANAR student Mathews Ng%27omacheza speaks to female vendor%2c credit LL.jpg

By Lizzy LaFave

“The most effective change comes out of bringing lots of perspectives together,” said Stephanie White, city-regional food systems lead and Frugal Innovation Practicum program director at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

The practicum brings together students from Michigan State and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). While MSU students bring more of an outsider’s perspective, LUANAR students have grown up shopping in Lilongwe’s markets. Continue reading Student innovators advocate for Lilongwe market vendors