Farming for Justice: Dismantling Diet Culture and Weight Stigma in Food Justice
Wednesday, April 8th
This webinar will be recorded.
Diet culture is a system of beliefs that equates thinness to health and moral virtue. In the United States, many of us are inundated daily by messages about dieting and weight loss by this $72 billion industry. Given the ways these ideas permeate our cultural landscape, for many of us our understandings of health are biased by the societal pressure to pursue thinness.
These ideas certainly show up in the food movement, like when we make claims about the “obesity epidemic” or unintentionally shame low-income people for their eating habits when we demonize certain foods. A particularly troubling way diet culture thinking shows up in food justice is in the rhetoric we use when discussing perceived relationships between food access and weight that is stigmatizing towards people in larger bodies. These biases ultimately influence the solutions we generate to address problems like food insecurity and our food system at large.
During this workshop we will define what diet culture is and identify ways it shows up in the narratives we believe and share about the relationship between food and health. We will discuss alternative ways we can challenge the economic and political power industrial agriculture and large food corporations maintain without perpetuating weight stigma and fat discrimination. For those of us invested in food justice and food sovereignty, liberation forms the basis of the work we do so it is imperative that our work is inclusive of everyone for it to be truly liberatory.
Lytisha Wyatt (she/her) is currently social media and communications coordinator at Soul Fire Farm, where she was also assistant grower and managed poultry operations for two seasons. Lytisha is passionate about envisioning ways we can dismantle the industrial food system, eliminate food apartheid, move towards a food sovereign future, and redefine health without relying on narratives that perpetuate systemic weight discrimination or unintentionally promote disordered eating behaviors. As a land steward, Lytisha is particularly invested in investigating ways we can (re)create ecological relationships between livestock, pollinators, and crops in ways that honors and nourishes the land.