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Food Is A Feminist Issue

Food Is A Feminist Issue

Food is a feminist issue and access to healthy, local food can be an avenue for social justice and transformation.

In many ways that’s not such a radical statement to make. Women make the majority of household food purchases and typically have more responsibility for food preparation then their male peers. Even with the boom in community share agriculture and home gardens, most “subsistence” farmers are women. On both a domestic and global scale most of the worlds hungry and undernourished are women and children.

So yes, food is a feminist issue.

That is why women’s groups need to become even more involved in lobbying for change in our national farm policy and advocate for a re-emerging food system that ensures safe, nutritious, fresh, local, organic and accessible food for everyone. This means availability at local grocers, tackling the problem of inner-city food deserts, and perhaps most significantly, an overhaul of our public school lunch programs to make sure our children are given only the best quality food to fuel their days.

But food is not just a feminist issue because of it’s connection to nurturing ourselves, our families and our communities. Food is a feminist issue because the “science” of food has been turned on its head in popular culture and the effect has been to exacerbate and perpetuate unrealistic body expectations for women in our dominant beauty culture. These pressures only become amplified when race, class and sexuality are considered as well.

Eating a whole foods diet is not only good for our bodies it can be an act of political disobedience. After all, feminism has the idea of “health” at its core. Legal battles over health care, education, and the environment all engage feminist ideals of health as a vibrant, necessary ingredient to being at home in one’s body and therefore one’s community. When we eat well we undermine the dominance of industrial food which has by and large alienated our communities from our sustenance.

So yes, food is a feminist issue.

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Photo from Kheel Center, Cornell University via flickr.

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65 comments

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10:06AM PDT on May 27, 2012

Good grief people! She's not saying that food is ONLY a feminest issue! Food is a feminist issue, ALSO and she give the major reasons why. If you're still thinking in terms of 'either/or' you're still stuck in the binary right/wrong we must compete/have conflict mind set. The main reason anyone can keep people devided is by encourageing them to think in terms of 'it has to be one way or the other'. We are not here to learn sameness. I think it's more likely we are here to consider, respect and learn from diverse viewpoints.

1:55PM PDT on May 23, 2012

I disagree that food is defined as a feminist issue. Yes, women feed their husbands, children and selves, but the big corporations have taken control. This is a human issue, and recently has become a human rights issue where food is being genetically modified and engineered, sprayed with pesticides, and we as humans have no say, no idea of what is really being done as governments refuse to label our food. It is not realistic to think that every family can grow a garden, as lots have no yards and cannot afford community gardens. We all have to in some way take over control of how food is grown. Education in schools must start at very early ages now to save the future of natural food.

12:01PM PDT on May 23, 2012

Thanks.

10:48PM PDT on May 22, 2012

What an illogical article - surely we can do better than this girls

7:52PM PDT on May 22, 2012

simply ignorant. Food is needed by men to. And men need to eat healthy in order to be healthy. This article is pure sexist.

10:27PM PDT on May 21, 2012

thanks!!

9:59PM PDT on May 21, 2012

Thanks.

7:13PM PDT on May 21, 2012

YOU SHOULD SEE THIS!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPry1EQ9myQ

7:04PM PDT on May 21, 2012

The increase in health concerns and diabetes in young children point to the fact that the large food production companies are not doing a good job nutrition wise. Getting back to basics may be part of the answer. Growing one's food in small gardens allows the farmer to choose what if any pesticides are used. The food will be fresher, cleaner and more nutritious. However, I disagree that food is a feminist issue. It is a human issue that is best in our hands and taken out of the hands of the large corporations.

5:54PM PDT on May 21, 2012

AWESOME

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