Tag Archive: business



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At a public meeting, Vallejo Board of Supervisor Erin Hannigan informed us that Safeway had put a deed on their former property. This deed prevented another grocery store from using it for the same purpose. In our recently released Vallejo report, we highlight on page 15 the impact this had on the community, which left the neighborhood and surrounding areas without access to a grocery store.

Please join us in demanding that Safeway/Albertsons eliminate restrictive deeds on their former properties that prevent new grocery stores from replacing them.

Source: Appetite for Justice by Food Empowerment Project: Shame on Safeway

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Green America: Guide to Ending SweatshopsToday’s post comes from Green America, a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to creating a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. I wanted to highlight the list they’ve compiled on the sweatshop labor that makes the shoes you most likely wear:

Footwear can be one of the trickiest parts of building a
sweatshop-free wardrobe. Hundreds of shoe companies have shifted their operations overseas in recent years, and many have little or no oversight for their supply chains.

We used two of Green America’s online tools (ResponsibleShopper.org and GreenPages.org)
to build this list of “leaders and laggards” in the athletic-shoe industry. Click the links on the company names [t]o learn more about the conventional companies at Responsible Shopper, or to find the green
businesses’ listings in the Green Pages.

See the list at Green America: Sweatshops: Sneakers, Leaders and Laggards (Summer 2008).


A chard leaf surrounded by text,

A chard leaf with the caption, “Local and Organic Chard Can Be Delivered using a Smartphone or Tablet…But was it made possible through gentrification, farm-worker exploitation, or racial injustice?”

Dr. Amie “Breeze” Harper, a senior research analyst/strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions (CDS) and intersectional food justice theorist, writes about the gap between tech innovation, venture capital funding, foodie culture, and labor/human rights:

Most people who are into mainstream ‘foodie’ culture care more about their food being ‘local’, ‘fresh’, and ‘organic’ than if the food came to them through the abuse and exploitation of farm workers and other marginalized human workers in the food system.

Many foodies actually think organic and sustainable mean the treatment of human beings and non-human animals is ‘humane,’ which is false. What would be great to have from Blue Apron is a statement that acknowledges the need to be more critical about horrible treatment of human workers.

So far, such statements are no where on their site, however, once
again, it could very well be that investors do not want to appear to be ‘too political’ and prefer to be ‘post-racial’ and ‘post-class’. Yes,
their focus is not farm-workers or other food industry worker rights.

However, the silence around this is quite compelling because the fact is, foodie-tech start-ups could not exist without the human laborers in the food system.

However, I’m still always fascinated by the fact that millions of dollars can be poured into foodie-tech apps by venture
capitalists when food justice activists working in/for the poor and
communities of color, with hardly any resources, struggle like hell to create food security and/or sovereignty for themselves.

Read her full post over at her website, The Sistah Vegan Project.

7/30 UPDATE: Check out her update here, where Dr. Harper announces her theme for next year’s food justice conference.


Felled trees evoking the fate of the earth's rainforests as they are cut to make room for palm plantations

Palm oil tends to be in everything these days. Back before exploiting it was this profitable, palm oil used to be demonized as being unhealthy, filled with the “bad fats” people should avoid. Times have changed now that palm oil can be produced cheaply through bulldozing Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests.

Read more on why you should avoid palm oil: Say No To Palm Oil | Whats The Issue.


Pile of empty Coke bottles

Empty Coca-Cola bottles. Source: Eco Chunk

On a recent online forum, a friend commented on the curiously idealistic perspectives that advocates hold about food as compared to agribusiness. Often, you’ll hear health advocates, environmental conservationists, an animal advocates talk about “individual food choices”and the drop-in-the-bucket impact they have to eventually, someday move modern society into a more sustainable future. Conversely, as this friend explained, agribusiness interests “most certainly do not see global consumption patterns as a matter of individual consumer choice and have a very deliberate agenda to reshape consumption patterns in the global south.”

Among the articles he posted, Mexico: Public Health, Rising Obesity and the NAFTA Effect, explained how global economics, health, and environmental sustainability intersect to create the current conditions in Mexico:

“trade liberalization also plays a huge role in what food is accessible in developing countries. After NAFTA was implemented in 1994, the number of unhealthy food products from the United States to Mexico increased substantially. A spike also took place in the amount of raw soy and corn imports: two products used to make highly processed foods and feed livestock.

In 2011, Mexicans consumed 172 liters per capita of Coke, compared to the 1991 pre-NAFTA level of 69 liters per capita. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the consumption of animal fat in Mexico increased from about 34.7 grams per capita per day in 1991 to 46.9 grams per capita per day in 2009. A recent study linked these and other resulting dietary changes with an unsettlingly high 12 percent increase in obesity in Mexico between 2000 and 2006. Though obviously an unintended consequence of NAFTA, this shows that trade can actually impact public health.

The article is an important read, especially since as consumers, we rarely know the full picture of what goes into our food—including the trade agreements, subsidies, and short- and long-term health effects.


Factory farm with cows, polluted water. Source: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Factory farm with cows, polluted water. Source: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Half the world’s grain crop is fed to animals raised for food, while an estimated 1 billion people are malnourished, and 6 million children starve to death every year. … “Most hunger deaths are due to chronic malnutrition caused by inequitable distribution and inefficient use of existing food resources. At the same time, wasteful agricultural practices, such as the intensive livestock operations known as factory farming, are rapidly polluting and depleting the natural resources upon which all life depends. Trying to produce more foods by these methods would lead only to more water pollution, soil degradation, and, ultimately, hunger.”

via Environment « Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

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