Press "Enter" to skip to content

Food System Narratives

Animating Questions

  • How does white dominant culture play out in the food insecurity and food access space in the United States?
  • How can analysis of historical policy outcomes inform present day food system decisions?
  • How do cultural beliefs about poverty and deservedness play out in food system interventions?
  • How can we improve decision making to achieve food system equity and sustainability?



Racial Inequities in Food Systems – An Analysis of the Mexican and Brazilian Cases

The goal of this project was to analyze how racial inequities play out in food systems in Mexico and Brazil, as well as to identify gaps in the existing scholarship on the topic in these countries. The Latin American narrative of racial mixing creating post-racial societies (known as mestizaje/mestiçagem) is the backdrop for this analysis. Although large racial disparities show up in both countries’ food systems, ideas of mestizaje heavily influence the scholarship produced on the topic and often obscure the racial aspect of social inequities. Executive Summary The majority of the literature on the topic of racial inequities in…

Read More

Power & Benefit on the Plate – The History of Food in Durham, North Carolina

This report is an exploration of the history of Durham, North Carolina through the lens of food, agriculture and land. The goal of this research was to understand the inequities in Durham’s food landscape today through analysis of the impact of social policies on Durham’s various communities over time. This research identified compelling evidence of systemic inequity in policy and policy implementation that helps to explain the lived realities of Durham’s communities today. The author presents Durham’s food history through the following six themes: Power & Benefit The story of food in Durham is fundamentally a story of power. This…

Read More

Identifying and Countering White Supremacy Culture in Food Systems

This research centered on the question: How does white supremacy culture play out in the food insecurity and food access space in the United States? To become anti-racist, food system actors must understand how white supremacy culture narratives function to center whiteness across the food system, effectively reinforcing systemic racial inequality and by extension disadvantaging BIPOC people. We discuss how whiteness holds white ideals as universal, how whiteness fuels power in decisionmaking, and how whiteness defines foods as either good or bad.

Read More