Farmers markets are much more than places to buy produce.
According to advocates for sustainable food systems, they are also
places to "vote with your fork" for environmental protection,
vibrant communities, and strong local economies. Farmers markets
have become essential to the movement for food-system reform and
are a shining example of a growing green economy where consumers
can shop their way to social change.
Black, White, and Green brings new energy to this topic by
exploring dimensions of race and class as they relate to farmers
markets and the green economy. With a focus on two Bay Area
markets-one in the primarily white neighborhood of North Berkeley,
and the other in largely black West Oakland-Alison Hope Alkon
investigates the possibilities for social and environmental change
embodied by farmers markets and the green economy.
Drawing on ethnographic and historical sources, Alkon describes the
meanings that farmers market managers, vendors, and consumers
attribute to the buying and selling of local organic food, and the
ways that those meanings are raced and classed. She mobilizes this
research to understand how the green economy fosters visions of
social change that are compatible with economic growth while
marginalizing those that are not.
Black, White, and Green is one of the first books to
carefully theorize the green economy, to examine the racial
dynamics of food politics, and to approach issues of food access
from an environmental-justice perspective. In a practical sense,
Alkon offers an empathetic critique of a newly popular strategy for
social change, highlighting both its strengths and
Subjects: Population Studies, Sociology
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