Adequate Food Systems: Reflections from Cuba and South Los Angeles

Dr. Hanna Garth Headshot

Virtual Talk and Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Hanna Garth

Drawing on long-term ethnographic research in Santiago de Cuba and South Los Angeles, in this talk I argue that understanding what makes a food system adequate is essential for achieving food security and/or food sovereignty. I detail how families in eastern Cuba engage in a stressful struggle to acquire food. I analyze their efforts to assemble a “decent meal,” a morally laden local social category wherein families determine whether food quality and cultural-appropriateness meets their standards. I introduce the politics of adequacy as counterpoint to growing concerns within anthropology regarding precarity and the politics of distribution to detail the social and emotional dimensions of the practices of acquisition. I then connect the politics of adequacy to the ongoing food justice movement in Los Angeles.

Dr. Hanna Garth is a sociocultural and medical anthropologist who studies food access and the global food system. Dr. Garth studies these questions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and among Black and Latinx communities in the United States. She has conducted over ten years of research on food access in Cuba and published the book Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal .  She is the co-editor of Black Food Matters: Food Justice in the Wake of Racial Justice. She is assistant professor of Anthropology at UC San Diego and will join the department of Anthropology at Princeton University in Fall 2021. 


Adequate Food Systems: Reflections from Cuba and South Los Angeles


1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 5, 2021


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