Session 7 – Race + Food


  • In this session, we will focus on issues of race and ethnicity as they relate to and shape issues of inequity in the food system.
  • In the first hour, you will participate in a two-staged quiz. The first 15 minutes will be spent completing the quiz individually, and the following 10 minutes, you will attempt the same quiz with your group members. The quiz content will be based on Gibb and Wittman's (2013) paper on racial inequity in Vancouver's alternative food networks.
  • In the second hour, we will have a brief (20 minute) lecture on issues of race and ethnicity as they relate to and shape food insecurity and inequity in the food system. In the following 30 minutes, we will adopt a critical race perspective to collectively examine values, beliefs and assumptions in a food insecurity case study.
  • In tutorial, you will have time to work on your community project


After completing this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Articulate the ways in which individual, institutional, and structural racism relate to and shape issues of inequity in the food system and intersect with other forms of systemic inequity.

Key Terms + Concepts

  • Race, ethnicity and food justice

Required Readings + Resources

  • Gibb, N., & Wittman, H. (2013). Parallel alternatives: Chinese-Canadian farmers and the Metro Vancouver local food movement. Local Environment, 18(1), 1–19. Retrieved through the UBC Library Website.

The food system is a racial project that produces racialized subjectivities and hierarchies, consolidates white privilege and oppresses communities of color (Sbicca & Myers, 2017, p. 32)

In this session, we will discuss ways in which race intersects with issues of power and privilege in the food system. In the video below, Malik Yankini, explores the connections between race, food and health.


  • Sbicca, J., & Myers, J. S. (2017). Food justice racial projects: fighting racial neoliberalism from the Bay to the Big Apple. Environmental Sociology, 3(1), 30-41.

Tutorial Session

  • Project work party!

Additional Material

An article in the Georgia Straight by an LFS alumni which raises interesting questions about whose voices are being heard in the conversation about the alternative food movement in Metro Vancouver.

This Backgrounder is the first in a multi-authored series on “Dismantling Racism in the Food System.” In this series we seek to uncover the structural foundations of racism in the food system and highlight the ways people, communities, organizations and social movements are dismantling the attitudes, institutions and structures that hold racism in place.