The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines food security as when:
“all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
When a particular area does not have enough food security the term generally used is a food desert however many researchers agree that a more accurate term is Food apartheid. Apartheid , or racial segregation, looks at how certain areas ended up without little access to real nourishing food. According to the National Black Food & Justice Alliance (http://www.blackfoodjustice.org (accessed on 10 June 2022)), food apartheid is
“the systematic destruction of Black self-determination to control one’s food, the hyper-saturation of destructive foods and predatory marketing, and the blatantly discriminatory corporate-controlled food system that results in (communities of color) suffering from some of the highest rates of heart disease and diabetes of all time”
The term food desert implies that the limited food access happened organically however when we look deeper the problem is largely caused by systemic racism. For example Baltimore, Maryland was one of the first cities to create racialized zoning in the 1800’s, the current city is a result of that. In the communities that have concentrations of black people there are more corner stores and liquor stores instead of grocery stores. Due to these areas being low income, large scale food providers are less likely to open. This makes relying too heavily on supermarkets to solve food insecurity less optimal and exemplifies why giving the community power back over their food through urban farming is going to be a major player in road to food security.
Though Charlotte, North Carolina never officially had racial zoning ordinances there have been restrictive covenants that prevented property sales to African Americans and poor whites. The FHA’s support of racially restrictive covenants began with its development of an appraisal table for mortgages that took into account home values. For a home to receive the highest rating in this table, the home had to be located in an all-white neighborhood. Similarly, the FHA recommended that racially restrictive covenants be used to prevent sales of homes to African Americans; the rationale for this recommendation was that if African Americans moved into a mostly or all-white neighborhood, home values there would plummet. In Charlotte, many new housing developments were constructed with FHA support. Racially restrictive covenants can no longer be enforced due to the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, however the segregation has continued due to exclusionary zoning.
In attempts to be more income inclusive Charlotte has just officially ended exclusionary zoning June 1st , 2023. This will allow more multi family homes to be built where previously only single family homes were aloud. This will create more affordable housing in what used to be only high income areas.