Fair Trade Trailblazer Leshaun Warner shares her thoughts about the book Fair Food.
Hesterman, O. B. (2011). Fair food: growing a healthy, sustainable food system for all. New York: PublicAffairs. 290 pages. ISBN: 978-1-61039-006-4.
Oran B. Hesterman’s book, Fair Food, is a book that aims to foster the creation of a redesigned food system, one that is healthy for people, communities, and the environment. After discovering a good diet was able to soothe the symptoms of a disease he suffers from; Hesterman passion for good food was ignited. He devoted his entire career to ensure that good food was available and affordable for everyone. Hesterman has been in a variety of different careers to help educate and push for more sustainable food practices. He was a professor of agronomy at Michigan State University. While there he was also a consultant to the W.K Kellogg Foundation and later left academia to work as a full-time program director at the foundation. However, he saw that there was a hug problem with the food system in America. Hesterman left Kellogg to start Fair Food Network, a new institution committed to building a more just and sustainable food system.
Hesterman’s book outlines the problems of our current broken food system, gives solution to redesigning it, and provides a practical guide to how we can get involved in the cause. While there are many broken systems in America which are education, health care, energy, and the financial system redesigning our food system is key to help solving the rest. In order to comprehend how to fix a broken system you must first recognize what is wrong with it. Why the current system is no longer working and the difficulties that it’s producing. After we understand that we can move forward to finding the principles a fair food system should have. A Fair Food system should allow everyone to have equal access to healthy, safe, and fresh food. A system that is diverse from the food we grow to how we grow them and also diverse in economic and ownership structures. Lastly, a fair food system must be environmentally sustainable and economically viable. Then we must take action and like Hesterman’s said shift from a conscious consumers to engaged citizens.
Hesterman’s book has truly opened my eyes to the current situation of our food system. Although it is not a book completely about Fair Trade it is very much relevant to the movement. To truly comprehend the Fair Trade movement and what it is trying to accomplish you must understand the state of our current food system. Our food system is failing so many individuals and causing so many problems that no one is addressing. Hesterman’s book not only seeks to address those problems but also provide ways for anyone to get involved in the cause.
Review prepared by Leshaun Warner, Fair Trade Intern