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Food as a weapon: Welcome to a ‘new age of food justice’

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Kwasi Nate Russell has studied the corridor on Minneapolis’ North Side from West Broadway Avenue, starting at Washington Avenue and east toward Girard Avenue, and discovered nearly 20 “major and minor fast-food/ junk-food establishments.”

LaDonna Redmond, a senior program associate at the Minneapolis- based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, recalled that there were more fast-food places than fresh-food places “within 10 minutes” of her home when she lived in Chicago. “I could get a semiautomatic [weapon]… We can get anything in the ’hood, but I could not get an organic tomato,” she said jokingly. Both Redmond and Russell, a local natural food diet entrepreneur, discussed at the Black Environmental Thought II conference at the University of Minnesota in September how “food politics” have adversely affected Blacks and low-income people. “The industrial food system was created in part by the exploitation of Native Americans and Africans, because it was the exploitation of land and labor that created the food system that we stand on today,” explained Redmond. “Food always has been used as a weapon. Continue Reading →

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