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.
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.
In an expanding global food market farmers need every edge they can get, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Regis Chikowo from Michigan State University is trying to use fertilizer sparingly based on rainfall trends across the continent.
Because of their cost, farmers that save on fertilizers might be able to feed more people.