It Starts with Our Health and Wellbeing: How Fighting for Food Justice Begins with Ourselves
By Lesly Gissell Zhicay
A part of the framework that we have built-in efforts of fighting for food justice is dedicated to health and well-being, now you may ask yourself what does our individual health and well-being have to do with food justice?
While we understand that saving our planet and feeding the world requires all our collective efforts, it is also important to recognize that collective efforts are comprised of small individual actions that grow day by day. If we actively fight for food justice within our minds and bodies, then we can ensure that we are actively creating that for others.
Fighting for our minds and bodies food justice means actively making food decisions that are beneficial for our minds and bodies. Now, this does not mean that we do it in a way that is detrimental to others. Taking care of ourselves and the planet are not two goals at odds with one another and neither should come to the detriment of the other. In fact, the work that we do in advocating for others should be an extension of the work that we are already doing within and for ourselves.
This further develops the understanding that Lila Watson, an indigenous Australian activist, posits, we can only truly fight for others' liberation if we understand that our individual liberation is bound to that of others. Thus, making the right food decisions for your mind and body is an active effort in supporting everyone’s liberation. When you begin to make better decisions for yourself you become an example for your friends, family, and the world.
Fighting for our own individual food justice means moving beyond the practical use of food and towards understanding the role of food in our overall well-being. Understanding the role that food plays in our physical, mental, and emotional health is crucial to being able to feed ourselves appropriately. This requires us to be mindful of what, when, and why we eat certain things and recognize their impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health. The more connected we are to our bodies and minds the better food decisions we will be able to make.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that context matters. While we may want to eat
more fruits and veggies, the reality is that many of us may be trying to just get a meal every day or that at this moment ramen may be what we can afford. Our goal is not to dictate what is right or wrong in food, rather we hope that the information we provide can inform your health and well-being journey, not shame you. And it is equally our responsibility to ensure that we are developing content that considers the various circumstances that students may be facing.
That it starts with ourselves may sound like the biggest cliché but your health and well-being are one of the reasons why Anabel’s exists, and we hope that we can be a part of your journey as much as you are a part of ours here at Anabel’s Grocery.