Controversy and Conversation Resources: “The Apple Pushers”

The April 1 meeting of “Controversy and Conversation” discussed issues raised by the film “The Apple Pushers,” a documentary featuring New York City’s Green Carts Program, an initiative intended to bring greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods with little opportunity to purchase fresh produce.

HI’s program coordinator, Dr. Melissa Biggs, a food studies scholar, began the discussion. While the film used the terms “food desert” and “food swamp” to describe the neighborhoods served by the Green Carts, she suggested the concept of “food apartheid.” Introduced by activist Karen Washington, “food apartheid” refers to the systems of economic inequality and racial and environmental injustice that permeate our food system.  Biggs asked participants to consider perspectives critical of the “obesity epidemic” framework. The inequities that create food apartheid  contribute to health problems of many kinds.

The introduction served as a starting point for a conversation that touched on the food ecosystem of Austin, changes in shopping and eating due to the COVID 19 epidemic, and food insecurity in rural areas and on college campuses. Zach Shlachter, one of our Austin Public Library partners, described his work with the Eating Apart Together Initiative, a city-sponsored program that came together during the pandemic to help feed unhoused people.

Lucas Alvarez, also of the APL, compiled a list of resources available through APL for those who would like to explore these topics further: APL Resource List “The Apple Pushers”

Below are other resources mentioned during the discussion

City of Austin Food Resources:

Some Local Food Organizations

Austin-Focused Readings and Resources

UT Campus Resources and Initiatives

Readings on Food Justice and Food Systems

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