They said God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt.Temu Asyr Bey
COMPTON, CALIFORNIA – Meet Temu Asyr Martin Bey, an urban agriculturalist, fashion designer, chef, author, social justice and food justice advocate, and Director of the Community Compton Garden.
He’s working to eliminate food deserts in LA County, Compton and all across the United States. Imagine that food deserts in a “first world” nation, which conveniently disproportionately impact communities of African/Black/ Original peoples across America who “lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
…We literally teach people how to feed a family of three out of 4×8 bed.A Community Compton Gardener
To determine if you or loved ones may live in a food desert consider the following measurements and definitions offered as guidelines by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In short consider:
• Accessibility to sources of healthy food, as measured by distance to a store or by the number of stores in an area;
• Individual-level resources that may affect accessibility, such as family income or vehicle availability; and
• Neighborhood-level indicators of resources, such as the average income of the neighborhood and the availability of public transportation.
You can grow food anywhere.Temu Asyr Bey
Living in food deserts often has negative consequential effects on health, so it is imperative to address this systemic racism issue. If you find yourself or loved ones living in a food desert, do not feel disempowered. There are resources, knowledge, information, and other concerned citizens that may be searching to connect with people like yourself to mobilize and create community for food justice and social justice.
One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others.African proverb
Create Community or Get Plugged-in
Who is one of the local Jegna in your community that is a resource of knowledge, wisdom, and a social justice advocate? You may live next to an elder that used to maintain a backyard garden for years and would eagerly share this know how with you.
What community centers and institutions already exist in your neighborhood? You may find there are already community gardens welcoming extra hands to nurture the soil and increase the harvest of nutritious food.
Build Business. Agricultural Economics for Communal Sufficiency
If we’re eating better, and we’re feeling better, and we’re making money, naturally we’re going to be able to create more peace.Temu Asyr Bey
The African proverb says, “many hands make light work.” Let us do our respective part to end food injustices impacting our communities wellbeing.
Check out more from brother Temu Asyr Bey for further insights, inspiration and information to empower yourself and your community.