“We are so focused and so good at doing our work and keeping our head down that we forget that at the values level , we are all behind the same good food movement, we just have to enunciate them.”Ken Cook Keynote speaker at the 2018 Food Tank Summit hosted at Seattle University
Food is the great connector. Through food we connect to soil, rain, sunlight, farmers, animals, ranchers, and truckers. Through our food we are in relationship with immigrant farmworkers, family and faith traditions, grocery store clerks, fossil fuels, agricultural policy, and the list goes on.
Consider the following: it takes 6.7 pounds of grains and forage and 52.8 gallons of water to produce a single quarter pound hamburger (*). Nearly 15% of U.S. households struggle to put enough food on the table (**). About half of all American children will receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at some point before age 20. Among African-American children, 90 percent will enroll in SNAP before age 20 (+).
Clearly, how we grow and transport our food and who has access to healthy food have a great deal to do with sustainability and environmental justice. Ongoing research on the process by which the world’s food is grown, raised, distributed, and used is important so that we can better understand and address food systems that are harmful to the environment and to already marginalized and disadvantaged populations.
The resources listed were compiled by CEJS as examples of local organizations working on environmental programs and sustainability initiatives. Seattle University is not affiliated with these organizations and expressly disclaims all responsibility for any content provided and all liability that may arise out of participation in any organization programs or activities.
*JL Capper, Journal of Animal Science, December, 2011.
** "Household Food Security in United States, 2010." US Department Of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2011.
+ "Estimating the Risk of Food Stamp Use and Impoverishment during Childhood," Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Volume 163 (Number 11). November 2009.