Racism and Capitalism: Dual Challenges for the Food Movement


  • Eric Holt-Giménez Food First/ Institute for Food and Development Policy




Neoliberalism, Race, Globalization, Food Justice


First paragraphs:

Our modern food system has co-evolved with 30 years of neoliberal globalization that privatized public goods and deregulated all forms of corporate capital, worldwide. This has led to the highest levels of global inequality in history. The staggering social and environmental costs of this transition have hit people of color the hardest, reflected in the record levels of hunger and massive migrations of impoverished farmers in the global South, and the appalling levels of food insecurity, diet-related diseases, unemployment, incarceration, and violence in underserved communities of color in the global North.

The U.S. food movement has emerged in response to the failings of the global food system. Everywhere, people and organizations are working to counteract the externalities inherent to the "corporate food regime." Understandably, they focus on one or two specific components—such as healthy food access, market niches, urban agriculture, organic farming, community supported agriculture, local food (farm to table), food and farmworkers' rights, animal welfare, pesticide contamination, seed sovereignty, genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling, etc.—rather than the system as a whole. But the structures that determine the context of these hopeful alternatives remain solidly under control of the rules and institutions of the corporate food regime, e.g., the farm bill, the free trade agreements, the USDA, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, USAID, global supermarket oligopolies, meat, fisheries, grain, seed, and input oligopolies, and big philanthropy....


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Author Biography

Eric Holt-Giménez, Food First/ Institute for Food and Development Policy

Eric Holt-Giménez is executive director of Food First/ Institute for Food and Development Policy; 398 60th Street; Oakland, California 94618 USA. He also serves on the JAFSCD advisory board. He can be reached at +1-510-654-4400 x22.
Photo of Eric Holt-Giménez by Stephen Mease.



How to Cite

Holt-Giménez, E. (2015). Racism and Capitalism: Dual Challenges for the Food Movement. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 5(2), 23–25. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.052.014