“Ferguson Decision Rally” 7 p.m. Tuesday at Rosa Parks Circle

Black Lives Matter-Grand Rapids is hosting a rally tonight in solidarity with Mike Brown and Ferguson, MO. “Come out to Rosa Parks Circle tonight at 7pm. Show the world that Grand Rapids, MI is standing in solidarity with Ferguson and ALL victims of police and state violence. Bring your signs, chants, artwork, anger, disgust, and disappointment. Let us all show up tonight and stand together. Thank You.”

For information visit the Facebook Event page

OKT co-sponsored chestnut tree planting at Alexander Park

alexanderOn Saturday Nov. 1, Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, joined a group of volunteers from Friends of Grand Rapids Parks in planting chestnut trees at Alexander Park. Laura shares, ” In a neglected and devalued street of Grand Rapids once thriving with it’s own grocery and large stately homes, Alexander Park took shape years ago when long term residents advocated to gain a public space cobbled together out of the abandoned properties. Now this peaceful play space has a mini orchard of fruit and nut trees. A dozen volunteers showed up to support the beginnings of a permaculture designed to benefit neighbors in years to come with little maintenance. Our Kitchen Table and Yesterdog worked together to feed the cold and hungry crew a good lunch afterwards and hear the latest news about edible chestnuts, urban foraging and sustainable living–and to make some new friends. Long live trees! Long live the feisty spirit of the Alexander residents!”

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The last slide shows  the one-year-old  fruit trees planted at Martin Luther King Park. Last year, they took  a heavy toll of vandalism damage. This year, a beautiful dedication sign was installed and  made all the difference.

Join OKT for a lively food justice discussion this Saturday

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 2.18.26 PMEven if you missed the first week of our Food Justice class, you can still join us this Saturday as we continue our discussion about the current food system. You can get caught up by reading our Food Justice handouts http://oktjustice.org/resources/hand-outs-and-zines/okt-food-justice-series/.
In week one we looked at part of the documentary, Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing & the Creation of a Health Crisis. In addition, we discussed the basic principles of Food Justice and began to look at the historical factors that have determined the kind of food system we currently have.
In week two we will dissect the current food system, by looking at all aspects of the system, from seed to plate and everything in between. Having a clear understanding to how the current food system functions is necessary if we are to create a just and sustainable response.
For those who want to share food during the food justice class, we invite them to bring a dish or beverage to share, while we have lively conversation. Join us at the Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton SE, from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Nov. 22. The five-week series continues through December 13.

Beyond Eating Local: OKT’s Food Justice Class begins this Saturday

storyimages_1323208706_img3894For the better part of a decade, people in West Michigan have been excited about and explored the importance of eating local and eating organic.

The idea of eating local in many ways is very mainstream. There are more Farmers Markets now than there were 10 years ago and greater interesting in people growing at least some of their own food.

However, for those of us who embrace the principles of food justice and try to learn from the international movement, eating local is not enough. Not only is eating local not enough, what we see happening over and over again is that the local “food movement” continues to operate within the narrow confines of the market economy, thus limiting the real possibilities of creating food justice that leads to food sovereignty.

The OKT class on Food Justice is designed to critically engage participants in a much deeper conversation about the food system and how we practice food justice. The five week sessions will cover the following topics:

  • tomato justiceUnderstanding the current food system
  • Exploring the principles and origin of food justice
  • Investigating how Food Justice is linked to other justice movements
  • How to practice Food Justice, especially in West MI

The class format is mostly discussion, with lots of information presented that can be accessed online. Participation is not limited to being able to attend all 5 sessions, but attending at least three is important for continuity.

The classes are free and people can just show up or let us know by contacting Our Kitchen Table at OKTable1@gmail.com.

Free 5-week Food Justice class starts Nov. 15

foodjusticeFood Politics and the Food Justice Movement: Moving Forward,
10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays Nov. 15, 22, Dec. 6, 13 & 20
At Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE 

Please email OKTable1@gmail.com to sign up!

Media watchdog, community organizer, and point-person for OKT’s policy analysis,  Jeff Smith will again lead this important look at how the industrial food system has created food apartheid and what we can do to further food justice.

     Investigate the current food system and food policy, look at food justice responses around the country and discusses what a food justice and food sovereignty movement in West Michigan could look like. Whether you are a professional actively involved in local efforts to eliminate hunger and undernutrition or a lay person who wants to know what you can do to increase your neighborhood’s access to healthy foods, this class will open your eyes to how the industrial food complex works and how you can challenge it.