Feed Avalon recognises that while creating new gardens & project is positive and worthwhile, alone it is not enough. We see that this work needs to go hand in hand with grassroots organising that can change the food system and go to the root causes of why our food system is so harmful.
We believe in the power of grassroots and are learning from a long tradition of resistance and action in fighting for social change.
We learn from the Global South and recognise the principles of food sovereginty in our work, trying to manifest them at every level.
Why bother organising? What’s wrong with our food system?
Writing about the harm of our industrial food system would be a book in itself. Therefore we’ve just listed some key points about the current impacts that feeding ourselves is having:
- Industrial agriculture
- Eating oil – energy, pesticides & fertilisers
- Climate change
- Water resources
- Food Waste
- Domination by mass retailers
- Corporate control of seeds & genetics
- Soil erosion
- Loss of places to grow
- Industrial food complex – schools, hospitals, prisons
- Factory farming & industrial animal abuse
- Peak everything
- Access to Land
- Loss of skills & knowledge
- Health – obesity, hunger, food-related diseases
- Food Poverty
- Food Deserts & access to food
- Displacement, land grabs & colonization
- Worker exploitation
What is organising?
Lee Staples, a well known community organiser from North America, describes community organising as “collective action by community members drawing on the strength of numbers, participatory processes, and indigenous leadership to decrease power disparities and achieve shared goals for social change.”
In short, the most basic goal of grassroots community organising is to bring about social change.
Organising can look like many things – it can look like having meetings, organising event and starting projects, but it can also look like having shared meals, collectively growing together in a garden. Anything where you are working with other people to change our food system, challenge injustice and create a more ecological way of feeding each other, is community organising.
Through organising and working together we can build power and make change. Look at these graphics below.
The first shows our current strategies – if the red dots are the corporate food system, then they are well organised, working together – and our strategies are to colour the black dots green e.g. Encourage individual lifestyle change.
More information about Community Organising
- Winds from Below, Radical Community Organising to Make a Revolution Possible, Team Colors Collective
- Roots to Power, A manual for grassroots organising. Second edition, Lee Staples. Praeger publishers, Westport CT