Local Food Lectures

Dr. Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy in Oakland, CA, will present two lectures on food insecurity and local food movements on March 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Lloyd Hall, room 123, on The University of Alabama campus.

Holt-Giménez, who has served as executive director since 2006, is the editor of the Food First book “Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food Systems” and has written several books on the topic. He has decades of experience working with grassroots food movements around the world.

“Students, faculty, and community members interested in combining advocacy work with teaching and research should pay attention to Dr. Holt- Giménez’s example of the impact that applied research can make in transforming social and environmental inequalities,” said Dr. David Meek, adjunct faculty member in the Department of Anthropology.

The first lecture, “Dismantling Racism in the Food System,” is part of a two-day event focused on environmentally sustainable food movements, and is free and open to the public. Holt- Giménez will deliver a second lecture, “The Vanishing Public Sphere: A Focus on Land,” on March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Both events will take place in room 123 of Lloyd Hall.

Meek said the topic of the lectures is relevant to the city of Tuscaloosa because the state of Alabama has historically had high rates of food insecurity. As of 2012, 34,300 Tuscaloosa residents were defined as food insecure. Meek hopes audience members will gain a better understanding of food sovereignty and its connections to food insecurity.

“They will gain an appreciation that localized solutions to food insecurity will not transform the inherent inequalities of the food systems, and for that larger project there needs to be a movement towards food sovereignty,” he said.

It’s important that students, faculty, and community members ask themselves how they can transform the food system, Meek said.

“This is a pressing social and environmental question,” He said. “Addressing it will require that we recognize the larger scale inequalities surrounding racism that pervade the food system, and understand how to unite across racial, gender, class, and age based divisions around the central goal of equitable access to socially and environmentally sustainable food.”

This event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Blount Program, New College, and UA Museums.