Food Justice Taskforce debuts ‘Cook Eat Talk’ documentary and zine

August 18, 2011

DETROIT – Over 60 community members turned out to the historic Eastern Market on August 17 for the Detroit Food Justice Taskforce’s community screening of the “Cook Eat Talk” documentary and Cook Zine. Both the documentary and the brochure chronicle the work of the DFJT during the first-year planning phase of their work and leading up to a series of community engagement sessions aimed at addressing food security, sovereignty and justice issues in the future.
“I was very pleased with the number of folks that turned out – old faces and new,” said DFJT Administrator and EMEAC Associate Director Lottie Spady. “That really reflects the relationship building we’ve been doing over the past year and beyond.”
The screening was held at Shed No. 5 at Eastern Market. Community members enjoyed special food and beverages provided by DFJT Member, Peoples Kitchen Detroit. Peoples Kitchen also distributed copies of the latest Cook Eat Talk zine – version 3.0. The zine serves as a companion piece to the documentary and not only tells the story of the Food Justice Taskforce in words and stills from the documentary but also includes health conscious recipes from the community members and lists the 10 principles of food sovereignty.
“We wanted to share the story of the Food Justice Task Force and lift up some of the strategies that we’ve learned along the way,” said DFJT Coordinator Gregg Newsome of the Peoples Kitchen. “Cook Eat Talk is a community gathering facilitated and supported by Food Justice Task Force partners. Theses gatherings share a new strategy for mindful, respectful and mutually beneficial community engagement.
“For me, the emergent, non-prescribed format, was quite significant. I think that this was facilitated by our decision to embrace and celebrate each community’s invisible capital and honor their specific interests and self-identified needs.  Rather than entering communities with a cookie cutter program, Cook Eat Talk offers menus, choices and has a flexibility that communities and families need in order to establish a healthy relationship with food.”
Overall, DFJT members said they were pleased with the feedback from community members that attended the screening and look forward to the next phase of their work.
“I think they were received extremely well as seen by the number of peole that purchased zines,” Spady said. “We really wanted to make the zine assessable to everyone,
Some of the input that I got from the people that saw the documentary said that it brought the work to life better than a written report ever could. So, I was really pleased with how things went overall.
“Based on the community’s input gathered at each Cook Eat Talk session, the taskforce will be expanding into a network of community food justice hubs that will work on behalf of each community. We’re looking forward to that process and providing training and support to each of the local communities.”