The Food System Should Unite Us, Not Divide Us
AbstractThe U.S. agrifood system was built upon land redistribution, enslavement, and labor exploitation. This system encompasses economic, social, and biophysical components deployed under a set of policies that negatively affect Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Researchers have studied the problematic issues affecting marginalized groups and published their analyses, while leaving intact the issues they document and research. Researchers have the responsibility to redress the exploitative premise of the agrifood system for communities whose circumstances have helped advance academic careers. Marginalized communities can be essential partners in practical and intellectual innovation and improvement of the agrifood system. The most effective way to redirect our system is to redefine the purpose of that system. Nations that invest their public resources equitably produce greater overall well-being for people of all incomes. The purpose of public investment in our food system should be to nourish and maximize overall health and well-being. We should establish an overarching national policy to create norms leading to equitable outcomes.
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