|Understanding the ways marginalized communities grow, prepare, and consume food is critical in working towards food justice, or communities exercising their right to grow, sell and eat food that is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally appropriate and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. In order to work towards food justice, we must understand individual's access to food and their relationship to food, especially in communities that have been identified as areas of low access by the USDA. From January through March, we will work in the Glendale Community Kitchen conducting and transcribing interviews. During these interviews we will also plan to take pictures that can be added to the community-facing cookbook. Through April and early May, we will conduct a qualitative analysis of the data. Our work will be centered at the Glendale-Mt. View Community Learning Center (CLC) in Salt Lake City. This census tract is in one of the more diverse areas of Salt Lake City with only 26% of its population identifying as White. Demographic and food access statistics have led food justice advocates to focus their attention on the availability of food in this area. However, as discovered while collecting data for the first Savor Cookbook Ethnography Project, it is highly important to incorporate culturally based foodways instead of solely focusing on access-based solutions. In the second book in this series, we will explore not only the cultural significance of foodways but also the significance of growing and cultivating specific crops in community and private gardens. Ethnographic interviews can be a useful tool to explore the significance of an individual's culture to their practices surrounding food. By highlighting the lived experiences of marginalized populations that are historically unheard , we can work to shift away from dominant narratives that further marginalize these populations). We hope to challenge deficit-centered narratives to foster food sovereignty for this population. As we learn about obstacles to food justice from those that are experiencing these injustices, from globalization, discrimination, land availability, and monopolization of food commodities we hope to also understand more about specific place-based barriers and opportunities. Narratives about which obstacles are most relevant to the population can inform food justice advocates and policymakers about the most meaningful ways to shift towards a more just food system. Place perspectives to food systems allow contextualization of concerns regarding the safety, health, equity, and sustainability of food. This is a necessary framework for challenging current food injustice.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Adrienne Cachelin