Food Justice Is Complicated… Lets Talk About It!

What is “Food Justice”?

Orchard grounds RIR

The Rooted in Respect Food Justice Camp has opened my mind to question what “food justice” means and looks like in my own life and experiences. These concepts have been floating in my minds eye for the past few months, constantly reminding me to be aware of my own relationship with food. I’ve challenged myself with every meal, snack, beverage, and nibble, to question:

Where does my food come from?

When was my food harvested or made?

Who makes my food?

Who sells it?

Food is a common denominator between every single person on the planet.

The necessity of feeding when hungry will never dampen or subside, so

WHY don’t we have more conversations about it??? Here are some barriers we experience:

  1. Not knowing where ones food comes from,who made/grew it, how long it took to reach them
  2. Feelings of shame created by lack of accessibility
  3. Feelings of superiority or ignorance sprouted from absolute accessibility, privilege, class, location, upbringing.
  4. Food means something different for each individual, these conversations are not simple; they are messy

Global Food RIR

Vancouver Island is such a lush piece of land; there is green space and water as far as the eye can see and even after acknowledging its beauty, we as visitors are obligated to reflect on the troubling histories of how this land was colonized and mutilated to become something so different than it was formerly.

Recognizing that the land and the waters deserve respect and attention is a form of food justice

Acknowledging where each piece of your meal comes from is a form of food justice

Realizing how much time and energy has gone into your food is a form of food justice

Allowing yourself to accept others social, political, emotional, and historical relationship to food is a form of food justice


My job this summer was to

contribute in the creation of an event where we could break down the meaning of food justice in a way that felt honest, accessible, and as all encompassing as possible for each of us as individuals and as a group. These conversations are extremely important and are not facilitated nearly as much as they could be.


The Project Respect team took on the challenge with grace and integrity by giving the project the time and nourishment it deserves to flourish.

What does a camp like this look like? Great question, thanks for asking!

After months of planning, the Project Respect team was able to present an amazing 3 day camp full of dialogue, hands on interaction with the land, guest speakers, theatre, harvesting, canning, and so much more that’s too honourable to mention.

Wednesday. August 17

Traditional Welcome by Elder Mae Sam

Territory Acknowledgement

Community Agreement

Lunch Provided by the Songhees Seafood and Steam Food Truck

Plant Walk with Beangka Elliott, Traditional Knowledge Keeper

Thursday. August 18

Reflective Meditation led by Sage Lacerte

Moose Hide Campaign Conversation with Founder, Paul Lacerte

Lunch Provided by Sheralyn Macrae

Berry Bingo and Lip Balm Making led by Addie Elliott

Group Conversation and Improv Theatre on Food Justice led by Chloe Mumford

Chive and Mint Planting

Friday. August 19

Morning of Harvest at Welland Orchard

Lunch Provided by Sheralyn Macrae

Canning Apple Sauce at Songhees Wellness Centre, Supported by LifeCycles

Bannock Workshop with Sage Lacerte and Sheralyn Macrae

Closing and Goodbye for now!

When the camp was finished and we said our goodbyes it was clear that everyone in the group had been impacted by the conversations and would take these newly found tools of expression, articulation, and action with them to continue creating dialogue in their own everyday lives.

Justice is not a box that is meant to be ticked with haste or by everyone.

Food Justice is one of many aspects of life that will continue to challenge humans, animals, and the earth throughout its existence.

My only words of wisdom would be to stay curious.

Thank you to all of the participants, facilitators, staff and families who supported this camp!

To the Horner Foundation, none of this would be possible without your wonderful support and presence.

We truly appreciate every single one of you.


I try to meditate every day.

Grounding yourself is crucial.

If you are able to take a moment to yourself

Truly to yourself



Then your mind may clear

You may feel relief, comfort, wonder, quaint.

You may feel uneasy, alone. Thats okay

I try to meditate every day.

This will help when searching for your own presence

Where you stand in a room, crowd, family, community, system.

There is a food system that we have so humanly claimed “dominance” over

This system has been in place since the beginning of earths histories, and will continue

I love my home, I love food, I love the land, I love the water, I love the people, I love feeling earthly


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