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The food system in the US is overdue for a reimagining. Reinforced by a racist economic system, industrial farmers resort to practices that maximize profits but poison both people and the land. Veteran labor activist Dolores Huerta tells Laura that addressing economic injustice is critical to creating a more just food system. More financial opportunities for small farmers, especially Latinx farmers and farmers of color, would mean more local, organic food at affordable prices. Huerta has been at the forefront of the farmworker labor movement since the 1960s. Her lessons from a lifelong career of grassroots organizing are invaluable as we look to reimagine systems of public safety, food and public health.
Food is essential for sustaining life, so why do we treat it like just another means of making a profit? A just food system must provide food in a sustainable way while making it affordable for everyone. Lack of access to capital is one of the biggest burdens facing small farmers. Banks routinely deny loans to Latinx and Black farmers while lending money to large, industrial farms. To create a better food system, this needs to change.
- Dolores Huerta is the president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation for grassroots organizing. She was also the cofounder of the United Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez.
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