Hunger: how fair is that?
The fight for food justice
Chronic hunger can be found in many parts of the world, mostly in rural areas, but also in cities. It’s a widespread problem that points to serious imbalances in the way global food systems are being managed.
Food justice is about taking a broad look at food security. If we are going to find a path toward equal access to nourishing food, we have to look at everything from food production to distribution, and we have to examine unequal trade practices and unfair labour conditions. We also have to look at food consumption patterns to understand how what we eat affects us and our communities.
When you keep the idea of food justice and fairness in mind, you realize there is much that can be done. The photographs below show how small projects designed to provide basic resources and services to groups of farmers can make a critical difference to their lives and their communities. The exhibition, entitled “Justicia Alimentaria” and sponsored by la Caixa, Oxfam and FAO, features the work of award-winning photographer Pep Bonet in two rural communities in Tanzania and Bolivia.
The images show simple solutions that make a big difference. In one, we see a store house to protect crops during the rainy seasons after the harvest. We see groups of farmers working together to get better prices in the market. We also see projects that encourage farmers to diversify the crops they grow, putting more variety into their diets, improving family health and helping to generate surplus produce for the market.
Even in industrialized countries, where we tend to take food security for granted, there are chronically hungry people, many of them children. In poor urban neighbourhoods where people rely on local shops for their food, the poor have no access to fresh produce. Some, like these people in Los Angeles, California, have taken action by using vacant lots to grow their own food, to create a sense of community around food, and to learn about the importance of fresh food in their diet.
Up for some action? Join the growing food justice movement and share your thoughts!