Detroit's Food Divide: From Organic and Fresh to Coney Dogs, Chips & Junk Food
March 10th, 2017, 9:35 AM
The tale of two cities we hear so often about in Detroit -- or the haves and have nots --also applies to food folks eat or have access to.
Tom Perkins for Metro Times explores the contrast in a story titled: "On food, race, and power in Detroit."
When it comes to eating, those living in Detroit do so in two different culinary worlds. For evidence, check out the menu options and store shelves in Midtown and downtown. You'll find baked Brie with mango chutney at Seva; smoked Skuna Bay salmon at Chartreuse; organic and fresh everything at Whole Foods. Compare that to what those living in the area of Seven Mile and Mound roads can easily access: chips and pre-packaged processed food at Citgo; and coney dogs and deep fried everything from Lou's Coney Island.
The divide in eating appears to be worsening despite Detroit's alleged renaissance. That's a problem, and to understand what's behind the dining dichotomy, we met with several local food leaders at the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network's office in northwest Detroit for a conversation on the city's wide ranging "food justice" issues, what that phrase means in Detroit, and the forces impacting how most Detroiters eat in 2017.
Unsurprisingly, the larger problems that plagued Detroit for decades are largely to blame for the city's persistent food issues: land ownership, water shut-offs, mass foreclosures, power, institutional racism, white flight, white return, Detroit Public Schools, a renaissance structured to largely benefit people of means, and so
Perkins interviews people on the subject: Malik Yakini of the Food Security Network; Marilyn "Nefer Ra" Barber, agricultural training coordinator at Earthworks Urban Farm and Capuchin Soup Kitchen; Shane Bernardo, outreach coordinator at Earthworks Farm; and William Copeland, climate justice director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council.