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Pomona College Lecture: "Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability"

Sociologist and leading food justice scholar Alison Alkon will be speaking at Pomona College about her book, Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (2011).  The talk will be held on Thursday, April 12 at 7 p.m., in Rose Hills Theatre (Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont).

A growing food movement, popularized by such best-selling authors as Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver and Eric Schlosser, urges people to support sustainable agriculture by eating fresh food produced on local family farms. In her book, Alkon examines how low- income neighborhoods and communities of color have been systematically deprived of access to healthy and sustainable food, often living in “food deserts” where fast food is more common than fresh food. Cultivating Food Justice describes efforts to envision and create environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives. Alkon offers multi-disciplinary insights from studies of environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, critical race theory and food studies, highlighting the ways race and class inequalities permeate the food system, from production to distribution to consumption.

Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing, said of the book, “Race, class and history aren't foodie strong-points. Yet to turn the food movement into one that fully embraces justice, some difficult discussions lie ahead. The chapters in this splendid and rigorously researched book will help those conversations be better informed, and their outcomes wiser.”

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