As someone who believes that food is a fundamental human right - up there with clothing and shelter - I feel that it is my moral obligation to support the Food Justice movement in any capacity that I can. While the focus of Confessions is primarily creating cheap, relatively healthy and tasty recipes, there's so much more work to do to create an equitable society.
The epic nature of systemic inequalities present in our food system are at once vast and varied - from the high incidence of food deserts and lack of food sovereignty in communities of color; to our reliance on marginalized communities to harvest our crops; from our elected officials cow-towing to food lobbyists seeking subsidies for artificially cheap foods that are overwhelming our health systems with obesity-related illnesses; to generations-old policies interfering with black ownership of farms; these are all problems the subject of Food Justice encompasses.
While I have dedicated much of my adult life to studying and trying to improve our food systems, the myriad problems the Food Justice movement seeks to address are monumental. I have thus far had little success in creating meaningful change.
Table of Contents
- How To Use This Page
- I Need Your Help
- What Does "Food Justice" Mean?
- List #1: Community Resources
- List #2: For Your Library
- List #3: Budget Cooking
How To Use This Page
It has occurred to me that as someone who is pretty good at a variety of things but a master of none, perhaps my way to move the needle is to act as an aggregator of all the brilliant minds who have helped shape my own educational journey in the complicated landscape of our food system.
Innovation cannot exist in a vacuum, and the more engaged minds we have working on a problem, the more likely we are to find a solution. Whether you are an ally looking for ways to engage with the Food Justice movement, or if you are someone who is dealing with the consequences of our deeply broken food systems, I hope to be of help to you.
To that aim I have assembled three lists below, the first of which I am calling Community Resources. This section
is will eventually be filled with post links discussing organizations that are working within seven different branches of the Food Justice movement (right now there's just two). Whether you are looking to help mitigate your own circumstances or want to donate or volunteer to help someone else, these are the places I know of that have ongoing, funded and organized efforts.
The second section is what I'm calling The Library. Also separated into branches, this is a place to look for books, scholarly articles, documentaries and other literature regarding the deep-seated issues surrounding our food system. If you have a yen for learning more about the aim of the Food Justice movement, this is a good place to start.
Finally, I have created a third section titled Budget Cooking. Think of this as an extended library of blogs, cookbooks and other educational content focused solely on getting healthy, inexpensive, and yummy food on your table despite monetary and/or time constraints. If you are here simply to learn how to cook well on a very tight budget, this will be the most useful section outside of my own recipe posts.
I Need Your Help
I should mention, I need your help, too. The immense subject of "food justice" is incredibly broad because the problems regarding our food system are seemingly innumerable. The landscape of the organizations and brave humans working to make a difference is also constantly changing.
As such, this resources page can only ever be a living document that evolves over time. If you see something missing (or incorrect) on this page, please let me know about it at ashley @ confessionsofagroceryaddict.com using the subject line "resources page." I pledge to keep this page as current and up to date as possible!
I also hope that each of you who visits this little corner of the internet starts having conversations about Food Justice - even if only with friends and family to start! To further the aims of the Food Justice movement, we need creative thinkers from all walks of life working toward solutions.
I humbly admit that I certainly don't have the answers - or perhaps even the right questions - but I'm willing to seek them with you. Here's to believing we can make a better, more righteous world together.
With love, hope and gratitude,
What Does "Food Justice" Mean?
The term "food justice" encompasses many different aspects of our food system and can often be tricky to define. In fact, to my knowledge there isn't a single, unified definition of what it actually means.
At its core, I believe those of us who speak of food justice wish to create an equitable food system whereby people have the right to grow, harvest, create, distribute, access, and, most importantly, eat tasty and nutritious food.
If that sounds simple, it decidedly isn't. Food justice covers a broad range of complicated issues, from deeply entrenched socio-economic inequalities and food insecurity to land disputes and environmental justice.
This particular definition of Food Justice sums it up well:
The Food Justice movement envisions a food system that is inclusive, community-led and participatory, without the exploitation of people, land, or the environment. It identifies and acts to remove the significant structural inequities that exist within our food and economic systems. Food Justice activists seek to establish healthy, resilient communities with equitable access to nourishing and culturally appropriate food."Portland / Multnomah Food Policy Council
As far as I can tell, the study of food insecurity, food laborers, land disputes, environmental justice, socioeconomic disparities, urban farming, public policy, and even cooking are part of the broader study of Food Justice. As such, I have sub-divided the Community Resources section to reflect these areas of specialization to the best of my ability.
List #1: Community Resources
Here you'll find links to posts with information on organizations that are actively working in the vast landscape of food justice.
Please note that this is an ongoing project - there's more to come! If you know of any organizations that should be plugged in here, please let me know in the comments below. I will continue adding new posts to fill out all 7 branches of the food justice movement.
1. Food Insecurity
2. Food Workers
List #2: For Your Library
If you're looking to learn more about Food Justice, or you are looking for more resources to slash your food budget, you've come to the right place! Here is a list of my favorite Books, Articles, Online Publications, and Documentaries about Food Justice.
See something missing?? Email me at ashley @ confessionsofagroceryaddict.com with the subject line "Resources Page".
Books on Food Insecurity & Food Justice
I am far from the first writer to want to get involved in the fight for food justice. If you want to know more about our food system or why we need to change it, any of these rousing works are a great place to start.
Please note that as part of the Amazon affiliates program, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger GroupsBuy Now →
$2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in AmericaBuy Now →
Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of PlentyBuy Now →
Feeding the Crisis: Care and Abandonment in America's Food Safety NetBuy Now →
Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food SystemsBuy Now →
Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food JusticeBuy Now →
The Food Activist Handbook: Big and Small Things You Can Do to Help Provide Fresh, Healthy Food for Your CommunityBuy Now →
Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America's PoorBuy Now →
Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for AllBuy Now →
Hunger in the Land of Plenty: A Critical Look at Food InsecurityBuy Now →
Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and SustainabilityBuy Now →
The Evolving Sphere of Food SecurityBuy Now →
The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across BordersBuy Now →
Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food JusticeBuy Now →
Publications & Documentaries About Food Justice
If you'd like to keep up with the world of food justice on the regular, these publications are *chef's kiss* as good as it gets. And if you'd rather sit and watch a movie, I hear you! These documentaries are incredibly informative.
List #3: Budget Cooking
Since Home Economics gets an unfairly bad rap, it seems that many of my contemporaries are intimidated by the prospect of budgeting and shopping for groceries, and then turning said groceries into "good food." While it certainly isn't the most complicated issue that I hope to address, Budget Cooking is something I think just about anyone can attain with the right know-how.
As far as I'm concerned, everyone deserves to live a life filled with love, belly laughs and delicious food. While I sadly can't promise any Kumbaya moments, I can promise that even if you only have a budget of $4 per person per day, there are fast and easy recipes that you can make that would wow even the bougie-est foodie out there.
While we work on the greater injustices present in our food system, I hope that this section will serve to make truly beautiful and delicious food available to those of you on even the strictest food budget.
Budget-Friendly Cooking on YouTube
Friends, I have to be honest - YouTube watching is more of Joe's obsession than mine. I'm analog AF and I generally read the majority of my content. All that said, I cannot believe what a friggin' GOLDMINE it is for amazing, inexpensive cooking ideas!
Here are some sample videos from my favorite channels , but if you want more, simply search "Budget Cooking" in the YouTube search bar and let the videos and recipes wash over you. PRO TIP: Make sure to subscribe to any of the channels you like for all of the newest content and ongoing meal-making inspiration!
There are SO MANY brilliant cooks and chefs out there who create delightful to eat, inexpensive and easy to make recipes. I hope that you find some inspiration from my Confessions, but I ALSO hope that you'll check out some of my favorite sources of inspiration.
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a DayBuy Now →
PLEASE NOTE: Leanne Brown has generously made the Good and Cheap cookbook available for free download, which you can access here.
Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in HalfBuy Now →
Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World's Most Versatile Plant-Based ProteinBuy Now →
The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook: 500 Inspired, Flexible Recipes for Eating Well Without MeatBuy Now →
Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for $10 or LessBuy Now →
100 Days of Real Food on a Budget: Simple Tips & Tasty Recipes to Help You Cut Out Processed Food Without Breaking the BankBuy Now →
Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan CookingBuy Now →
30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes: Fast, Flavorful Plant-Based Meals on a BudgetBuy Now →
How to Feed Yourself (When You Don't Know What You're Doing): 100 Fast, Cheap and Reliable Recipes For CookingBuy Now →
Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, Stems, and Other Odds & Ends Into Delicious MealsBuy Now →
The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook: Easy, Healthy Recipes for the Next Four Years and BeyondBuy Now →
Other Awesome Cookbooks
These books are not focused on tight budgets by design, but many of the recipes within are extremely economical.
Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy LivesBuy Now →
Cook90: The 30-Day Plan for Faster, Healthier, Happier MealsBuy Now →
The Essential Ottolenghi: Simple & Plenty MoreBuy Now →
Bittman Bread: No-Knead Whole Grain Baking for Every DayBuy Now →
The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe RecipesBuy Now →
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home CookBuy Now →
Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New FavoritesBuy Now →
Budget-Friendly Cooking Podcasts
Whether you're new to cooking on a tight budget, or you're just feeling in a rut, these podcasts have a lot of valuable nuggets in them. Give them a listen whenever you need a little inspiration!
Budget-Friendly Cooking Blogs
When it comes to the world of budget food blogging, I am but a student in a room full of gee dang geniuses. Here are some of my favorite teachers:
Deb doesn't specifically focus on budget recipes, but her unfussy approach to food and her myriad vegetarian recipes make Smitten Kitchen an excellent resource.
I hope my little Food Justice Library has been helpful! If you can think of how to make this page more useful or robust, please don't hesitate to let me know by shooting me an email at ashley @ confessionsofagroceryaddict.com.