The Food Solutions New England Racial Equity Challenge is a three weeks challenge where every day you received a prompt to reflect on racial equity on the food system. #FoodJusticeFriday is my way to continue to have those conversations year round, with a weekly reflection or highlights about inequalities in the food system. I invite you to every Friday reflect on your role in the food system and join the conversation on Twitter.
There are not many scholars studying Dominican foodways in the food studies world, and I know this because I attempted to write my undergraduate thesis on Dominican immigrants foodways. Due to time constraints, instead, I created a literature review of the few scholarly and non-academic publications available about Dominican and Dominican immigrants foodways.
You can read my article calling for more #DominicanFoodStudies here.
Finding Culturally Appropriate Foods
Will I find plátanos? Is usually the first questions I asked myself every time I have to move inside the United States? So far, I have been lucky! However, plátanos is not everything that Dominican immigrants might need to reach culturally appropriate food security. Not every immigrant and minority groups have access to culturally appropriate food or the markets to sell them if they are growing it. So, before my tenure in the Greater Providence concluded I worked on creating an inventory of ethnic markets, groceries, and bakeries serving the minorities and immigrants on RI.
You can find the inventory for the Greater Providence area here, the inventory by city here and the blog post about it here.
You can contribute to the one for Greater Lansing in Michigan here.
Disclaimer: These directories are not a fully comprehensive list of all ethnic markets, grocers, and bakeries of their areas, but it is a start. We hope to update this directory frequently and to continue to compile information about these ethnic markets to make available to our communities members. Please send us updates or missing markets information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also recognize the term ethnic could be diminishing, insulting and othering when talking about other foodways and cuisines. We only use as a way to identify and separate these grocery stores, corner stores, specialty stores run by a diverse group of immigrants and minorities. As other names such as bodegas prefer by the Caribbean and Latin American and international markets are limiting for the purpose of this project.
Food is never just food. It is part of the political, social, physical and psychological process to explain culture, society, and systems of power and oppression. Our food system encompasses everything from the farm to table and even food waste. I want to start conversations about what food is, it is power and the many meanings it has across gender, race, generation, borders and much more. We all experience and interact with our local, state and regional food system in different ways and in different level every day. As food systems practitioners, farmers, advocates, and eaters how we interact with the food systems tell stories of privilege, oppression, comfort, struggle, passion, and sadness. This is an ongoing workshop and online conversation that invites you to use writing and reflective tools to tell your food system story.
Participants will identify tools to reclaim, write, document and showcase how they experience their food system and how their food systems shape them. So please go on, and share how #foodisneverjustfood for you.
Please email Vanessa to to schedule a workshop or webinar for your organization.