Commentary Articles

Holding Your Ground and Leading With Your Heart

Holding Your Ground and Leading With Your Heart

When I tell people I want to challenge the system, many say it can’t be done. They ask me about my education, and I say, “Why, yes, I do have my Master’s.” Then I point around in reference to my...

Building Community Assets, Pride, and Power

Building Community Assets, Pride, and Power

Back in 2008, I accepted the definition for food justice as “everyone having access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in sufficient quantity and quality to sustain a healthy life...

The Power of Journalism That Uplifts

The Power of Journalism That Uplifts

If you ask them, most people in San Diego County would probably agree that it’s good to have access to fresh, seasonal, and local food. On a daily basis, however, a variety of factors makes this the...

Feeding People, Not Landfills, in Oceanside

Feeding People, Not Landfills, in Oceanside

As the City of Oceanside’s Environmental Officer, I have been working toward a zero waste community for the past 15 years.  In 2015, I began to recognize how diverting food to feed people instead of...

Informality and Food Work

Informality and Food Work

For many workers, long-term job security, employment benefits, and work protections are a thing of the past. As our economy bounces from crisis to crisis, a growing number of people earn a living...

Not the American Dream—the American Promise

Not the American Dream—the American Promise

An entrepreneurial approach is key to scaling up local, sustainable, and equitable food value chains. Enterprise is the correct model, but government and philanthropy must play a more prominent role...

Moving Barricades to Keep Farmers Farming

Moving Barricades to Keep Farmers Farming

As a lifelong farmers market fan turned operator, I like to say that my job is weird. My team and I run grocery stores in the street. We move barricades, tow cars, curate vendors, create marketing...

Fish Becomes Seafood Because of Fishermen

Fish Becomes Seafood Because of Fishermen

The need for strong local food systems became crystal clear during the COVID-19 pandemic when household food shortages flourished while abundances of food rotted at ports and warehouses because...

The Resilience Within Our Communities

The Resilience Within Our Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the many ways that the United States lacks the critical infrastructure to feed its own people, independent from the fragile, globalized food production and...

Restoring Justice Starts With Empowering Workers

Restoring Justice Starts With Empowering Workers

Our food system, as one system in a global economy, exploits labor globally, nationally, and locally. It is structured to be unjust toward workers. Corporations are incentivized to minimize inputs,...