L-R top row: Sabrina Wu, Kitty Sharkey, Esperanza Pallana, Aaron Lehmer Chang, Olga Bolotina, Paula Beal, Rob Bennaton. L-R bottom row: Ada Chan, Ariel Dekovic. Photo by Kavya Tallapaka.
Members of the Food Policy Council celebrate a unanimous City Council decision, November 5th, 2014. The new ordinance recognizes that growing and sharing food in Oakland is a right, not a conditional privilege that requires expensive permits.
There is a growing consciousness about food and diet-related disease in Oakland’s low income communities.
First Lady Michelle Obama could have been talking about sections of West and East Oakland when she wrote, in American Grown: “Millions of Americans are living in so-called food deserts, communities without a single grocery store, without convenient access to fresh, nutritious food. Families end up buying their groceries at gas stations or mini-marts. Children don’t get basic nutrition. This is unacceptable. No matter where we live, we should be able to provide nutritious food for all families. And many families rely on local farms or gardens to make that aspiration a reality. People are coming together, pooling their energy and resources, growing their own fresh nutritious, affordable food.”
The ordinance is not an act of charity. It’s an affirmation in local, community self-reliance, and it expands the availability of healthy food for all Oaklanders, regardless of economic status.
About the author:
Paul Rockwell, is an outdoor columnist for the Hills Newspapers, Bay Area News Group. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban Agriculture Gets Boost in Oakland
by Paul Rockwell
UN-masking Climate Smart Agriculture
History presents itself first as tragedy,
and the second time as a farce
by La Via Campesina
New York, New York
Published in In Motion Magazine November 8, 2014