Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition Statement on Racial Injustice

SAFN stands in support of Black Lives Matter. 

The global food system is replete with racial injustice and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The people who plant, harvest, prepare, process and serve food, as well as those who clean up after processing, cooking, and eating are disproportionately People of Color. Predatory labor practices force people working within the food system into unsafe conditions, costing the health and sometimes the lives of many. White supremacy and systemic racism undergird the theft of Indigenous land and the loss of Black land, undermining these communities’ food sovereignty. The health of Black, Indigenous, People of Color has also been compromised by food insecurity and trauma, creating comorbidities that increase the vulnerability to diseases such as COVID-19.

SAFN is not looking for a return to normal after the pandemic, but for a new set of practices inspired by food sovereignty where the people responsible for our food are treated fairly and are able to live peaceful lives and where everyone has access to healthy, culturally relevant food. Recognizing that our food system is built on systemic racism and white supremacy, the onus is on us to dismantle it. We commit ourselves to the call to defund policing and to refund the dignity and livelihoods of BIPOC communities, bolstering opportunities for joy and celebration.


We pledge ourselves and call on our membership to do the work of dismantling structural racism and white supremacy in the food system and beyond. As a small step in this direction, we are committed to the following actions:

  • We will direct our student research award to focus on decolonized, ethical research on food justice and food sovereignty. 
  • We will sponsor food justice panels at upcoming professional meetings. 
  • While we recognize the service burden on BIPOC, we will actively recruit for diversity on the SAFN board.
  • We pledge to amplify the voices of BIPOC food scholars and decolonize the anthropology of food, starting with our own Section News column and FoodAnth website. 

If you are in a position to donate, check out these organizations: https://civileats.com/2020/06/02/want-to-see-food-and-land-justice-for-black-americans-support-these-groups/

The SAFN Board

1 Comment

Filed under anthropology

One response to “Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition Statement on Racial Injustice

  1. This is nice article, thanks for sharing.

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