Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern

Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern is Assistant Professor of Food Studies and Affiliate of the Departments of Geography and Women's and Gender Studies at Syracuse University.

  • The New American Farmer

    The New American Farmer

    Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for Sustainability

    Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern

    An examination of Latino/a immigrant farmers as they transition from farmworkers to farm owners that offers a new perspective on racial inequity and sustainable farming.

    Although the majority of farms in the United States have US-born owners who identify as white, a growing number of new farmers are immigrants, many of them from Mexico, who originally came to the United States looking for work in agriculture. In The New American Farmer, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern explores the experiences of Latino/a immigrant farmers as they transition from farmworkers to farm owners, offering a new perspective on racial inequity and sustainable farming. She finds that many of these new farmers rely on farming practices from their home countries—including growing multiple crops simultaneously, using integrated pest management, maintaining small-scale production, and employing family labor—most of which are considered alternative farming techniques in the United States.

    Drawing on extensive interviews with farmers and organizers, Minkoff-Zern describes the social, economic, and political barriers immigrant farmers must overcome, from navigating USDA bureaucracy to racialized exclusion from opportunities. She discusses, among other topics, the history of discrimination against farm laborers in the United States; the invisibility of Latino/a farmers to government and universities; new farmers' sense of agrarian and racial identity; and the future of the agrarian class system.

    Minkoff-Zern argues that immigrant farmers, with their knowledge and experience of alternative farming practices, are—despite a range of challenges—actively and substantially contributing to the movement for an ecological and sustainable food system. Scholars and food activists should take notice.

    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00

Contributor

  • The Immigrant-Food Nexus

    Borders, Labor, and Identity in North America

    Julian Agyeman and Sydney Giacalone

    The intersection of food and immigration in North America, from the macroscale of national policy to the microscale of immigrants' lived, daily foodways.

    This volume considers the intersection of food and immigration at both the macroscale of national policy and the microscale of immigrant foodways—the intimate, daily performances of identity, culture, and community through food. Taken together, the chapters—which range from an account of the militarization of the agricultural borderlands of Yuma, Arizona, to a case study of Food Policy Council in Vancouver, Canada—demonstrate not only that we cannot talk about immigration without talking about food but also that we cannot talk about food without talking about immigration.

    The book investigates these questions through the construct of the immigrant-food nexus, which encompasses the constantly shifting relationships of food systems, immigration policy, and immigrant foodways. The contributors, many of whom are members of the immigrant communities they study, write from a range of disciplines. Three guiding themes organize the chapters: borders—cultural, physical, and geopolitical; labor, connecting agribusiness and immigrant lived experience; and identity narratives and politics, from “local food” to “dietary acculturation.”

    Contributors

    Julian Agyeman, Alison Hope Alkon, FernandoJ. Bosco, Kimberley Curtis, Katherine Dentzman, Colin Dring, Sydney Giacalone, Sarah D. Huang, Maryam Khojasteh, Jillian Linton, Pascale Joassart-Marcelli, Samuel C. H. Mindes, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Christopher Neubert, Fabiola Ortiz Valdez, Victoria Ostenso, Catarina Passidomo, Mary Beth Schmid, Sea Sloat, Kat Vang, Hannah Wittman, Sarah Wood

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00
  • Cultivating Food Justice

    Cultivating Food Justice

    Race, Class, and Sustainability

    Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman

    Documents how racial and social inequalities are built into our food system, and how communities are creating environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives.

    Popularized by such best-selling authors as Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Eric Schlosser, a growing food movement urges us to support sustainable agriculture by eating fresh food produced on local family farms. But many low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have been systematically deprived of access to healthy and sustainable food. These communities have been actively prevented from producing their own food and often live in “food deserts” where fast food is more common than fresh food. Cultivating Food Justice describes their efforts to envision and create environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives to the food system.

    Bringing together insights from studies of environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, critical race theory, and food studies, Cultivating Food Justice highlights the ways race and class inequalities permeate the food system, from production to distribution to consumption. The studies offered in the book explore a range of important issues, including agricultural and land use policies that systematically disadvantage Native American, African American, Latino/a, and Asian American farmers and farmworkers; access problems in both urban and rural areas; efforts to create sustainable local food systems in low-income communities of color; and future directions for the food justice movement. These diverse accounts of the relationships among food, environmentalism, justice, race, and identity will help guide efforts to achieve a just and sustainable agriculture.

    • Hardcover $54.00 £45.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00