Please join OKT for this updated 4-session class series to explore what is food justice is, why we need it and what we can do in Grand Rapids to make it happen. Saturdays Nov. 14 & 21, Dec. 12 & 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE 49507. Please sign up by emailing OKTable1@gmail.com to help us plan materials accordingly.
OKT staff member, Stelle Slootmaker, is facilitating this dialogue that covers:
- Defining food justice and food sovereignty–what does it all mean?
- How the current food system came to be and the injustices it promotes (food apartheid, exploitation of workers and animals, environmental destruction, nutrient-poor foods, et al.)
- Why food justice is about overcoming racism, sexism consumerism and
- What the Food Justice Movement is doing to create a better world and defining our part in it, here in Grand Rapids.
Reading material for the class will include the book Our Food, Our Right and the OKT Food Justice Series. Stelle’s experience includes eight years teaching a nutrition-based childbirth method, 20 years writing about nutrition and alternative health and 10 years actively working for social justice, including seven years with OKT.
Food Justice Primer
Monday June 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Garfield Park Lodge
334 Burton St. SE 49507
For 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 healthier foods in many ways has become mainstream. However, for people experiencing income challenges or living in neighborhoods of color, access to these healthier foods is not a reality. A true food apartheid exists in our community—and that’s where the work of food justice begins.
If you want to know more about that work—or become involved in it yourself—please join us for this brief introduction to food justice. OKT team member, Stelle Slootmaker, will facilitate an informal dialogue on the principles of food justice with group input on how we can practice it locally.
Food Justice Primer
- Monday March 23 or May 11, 6 to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday March 24, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
At Garfield Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE 49507
Have you heard the term “food justice” and wondered just exactly what that meant? This two-hour introduction to the concept introduces you to the causes of food injustice, how the agri-business industry works against it and proposes actions we can take to make healthy food accessible to all.
Please join OKT food garden coaches, Camilla Voelker and Jeff Smith for this interesting conversation. Knowledge is power!
You might also want to check out OKT’s Food Justice Series. To date, OKT has created eight of these brief introductions to different food justice topics. You can view and download them here for free. And please, feel free to print and post wherever you think the message could be relevant.
Food Politics and the Food Justice Movement: Moving Forward
Saturdays Dec. 6, 13 & 20
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Garfield Park Lodge
334 Burton St. SE
For week three of OKT’s Food Justice class
, we will explore the exploitative nature of our current food system, both the exploitation of human labor and of animals. Workers in the food system are some of the most exploited in the country and most don’t even make minimum wage, since minimum wage laws don’t apply to most food workers. (See our food justice handout on food workers
) In addition, we will be exploring the use and abuse of animals within the current food system.
Lastly, the OKT Food Justice class will begin discussion of how we can collectively practice food justice in West Michigan. We will look at some models from around the world and how OKT is trying to practice food justice right here in West Michigan.
The Food Justice class begins at 10am and is held at the Garfield Park Lodge, located at 334 Burton SE.
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.
For 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:
- Understanding 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.