Race, Ethnicity, and the Promise of "Good Food" for Michigan: A Three-voice Commentary


  • Rich Pirog Michigan State University
  • Kaitlin Koch Michigan State University
  • Anel Guel Michigan State University




Racial Equity, Structural Racism, Good Food, Local Food Systems, Michigan Good Food Charter


This set of three interconnected commentaries begins by tracing the evolving narrative of the local food movement to embrace racial equity as a critical part of a sustainable food system in Michigan, using the Michigan Good Food Charter as a potential framework. Researchers, educators, and advocates of local food must first have a clear understanding of the structural racism that is present in the American food system before they can work effectively toward the vision of sustainable and equitable food for all. The commentary then calls out the need for new tools and resources for local food students and professionals (including Cooperative Extension staff) to better understand the role structural racism plays in the U.S. food system. One new resource identified and developed by two of the commentary authors is an annotated bibliography of structural racism present in the U.S. food system.


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Author Biographies

Rich Pirog, Michigan State University

Senior Associate Director, Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems; 480 Wilson Road, Room 302; East Lansing, Michigan 48842 USA; +1-517-353-0694.

Kaitlin Koch, Michigan State University

Community Food Systems Educator, Michigan State University Extension

Anel Guel, Michigan State University

Graduate of the Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University.



How to Cite

Pirog, R., Koch, K., & Guel, A. (2015). Race, Ethnicity, and the Promise of "Good Food" for Michigan: A Three-voice Commentary. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 5(4), 83–86. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.054.011