Planting Seeds of Justice through Urban Farming

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In November the US community organization, Appetite for Change along with the rap group Beats & Rhymes documented the lives of young people living in North Minneapolis’s food desert to produce the music video, Grow Food. The video denounces the excess of fast food providers in schools and in the most marginalized neighborhoods of the city. At the same time, it motivates youth to get involved in urban farming and healthy cooking.

The song opens with lyrics like, “Fake food poisons your brain” and “look at what they’re feeding you, that’s what’s really killing us”. For people confined to food deserts, urban agriculture represents an important tool for sovereignty and health, given that the access to produce and organic food is extremely limited and costly.

The organization Appetite For Change utilizes food as a tool for empowerment and social change for young people and families throughout Minneapolis. They offer workshops about cooking, urban agriculture, gardening, and community leadership. Among other initiatives, they also offer a complete commercial kitchen for the free use of organic farmers who want to export their products to local restaurants and stores.

Urban Farming - our mission appetite for change

According to co-founder Princess Titus, the initiative began with the need that the people’s voice be heard, and the belief that a solution could be developed from within the community. They use healthy food to bring people together and develop strategies to create the social change that the community identifies as important.

Urban Farming - we grow here - appetite for change

Appetite for Change has been very successful in developing a more just food system, and strengthening the efforts of young people, farmers, families, and activities around north Minneapolis. Many of their volunteers express that now they have found an outlet to combine their passion for social justice and healthy cooking. Through their initiatives, Appetite for Change has converted food into a tool for activism.