In a globalized era, commodification is the thing that strips something of its story, its individuality and any humanity along its path in order to make it easily sellable or replaceable. We are very accustomed to this system because it is what shapes the prices we pay, the decisions we make, and often how we orient our very lives.
While we may or may not believe that we surrender to this system of economic valuation on a daily basis, our food system is perhaps the most telling and cautionary tale of the dangers of commodification. And because of this, we often commodify not only the food that we actually eat, but we also the people that grow it, the land from which it comes and even our own bodies’ needs for sustenance.
At the non-profit Urban Roots, we believe urban agriculture, while an amazing tool for potentially providing food to all of us who are in desperate need of real food, is also a vehicle for creating and maintaining what many of us long for.
We want honest identities that are connected to real places. While our desire for growing food is not only a very real ecological and social need, we are constantly reminded of the words of Mother Theresa, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”