Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21, No. 2, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


It is a story about food we have heard before-big is bad; small, local, and organic is better; and if you can link small, local, and organic to students, that is best of all. Part of the problem is that the usual suspects-WalMart, McDonalds, PepsiCo, etc.-have so many more resources than the usual cast of small-is-good heroes eking out a living from the earth and hard work: organic farmers , migrant workers, CSA founders and operators, and similar supporters. Gottlieb and Joshi provide some hope by pointing to a few small victories among the heroes, but it is a fight with ever-moving targets.

If the food justice movement fails because a majority of low-income consumers see the members of the movement as privileged-a problem the authors point to- this could be a major setback for other social justice movements. Failure also opens the door for the Wal-Marts and Tescos of the world to gain even more control over our food. The spirit ofthe sentiment is much appreciated and understood to mean that success would lead to losing "an unjust food system," but if food justice groups do become a food justice movement, it must be precise in choosing targets and strategies.