“Farmers’ markets are often white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized.”
Professors from San Diego State University recently criticized farmers’ markets for being “white spaces” that contribute to the oppression of minorities.
Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco, two geography professors at SDSU, criticized the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” in a chapter for Just Green Enough, a new anthology published by Routledge in December.
The anthology, which features contributions from a variety of professors, aims to highlight the harms of “environmental gentrification,” a process in which “environmental improvements lead to…the displacement of long-term residents.”
According to Campus Reform, Joassart-Marcelli and Bosco argued that farmers’ markets in urban areas are also exclusionary, because oftentimes, many residents cannot afford the food and “feel excluded from these new spaces.”
The duo also alleged that 44 percent of San Diego area farmers’ markets cater to “households from higher socio-economic backgrounds,” which, in turn, helps to increase property values and effectively “[displaces] low-income residents and people of color.”
Farmers’ markets are environmental improvements that can lead to gentrification, Bosco and Joassart-Marcelli argue, saying farmers’ markets are “exclusionary” since locals may not be able to “afford the food and/or feel excluded from these new spaces.”
This social exclusion is reinforced by the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” and the “white habitus” that they can reinforce, the professors elaborate, describing farmers’ markets as “white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized.”