May 2021 | Building Food Sovereignty
For today’s episode, we spoke with Antonio Roman-Alcala and Spirit Mike. In 2011, Antonio released the powerful documentary In Search of Good Food, which carefully traced the crises built into the food systems in California’s Central Valley, which is the source of most vegetable and many tree crops across the US. Antonio reflected on the film and addressed exciting new possibilities for building food sovereignty and agroecology in the Central Valley, against the grain of powerful structures of exploitation, racial exclusion, and environmental devastation. Likewise, Antonio speaks to the emerging connections between urban agriculture and movements like the George Floyd Uprising.
Next, we talk with Spirit Mike, an urban farmer in Tampa, Florida, who was pushed to grow food for his neighborhood by the massive logistical failures at the start of COVID. He goes into the strategic moves necessary to overcome barriers to urban agriculture and how growing food led to his own explorations of a food system in crisis and of the possibility of autonomous alternatives. From the Central Valley to Florida, the country’s breadbaskets are also home to some of the starkest contradictions – whole towns of immigrant workers can be denied potable water which is instead directed to almond orchards, and in which urban communities can be wholly cut off from any control over their own food. Yet, in both these regions and across North America, people are building food sovereignty and the potential for a revolution.