OPINION | Food is a feminist issue


My grandmother taught me about seeds. They are family. You plant them, eat some and save some to plant again. What was magic at age 4 is still magic.

I draw my strength from the land. I have always gardened; now I grow food for many, growing as though they sat at my table. This brings me outdoors in all weather, lets me explore other cultures through seeds, and endlessly indulge my curiosity and inventiveness. It is no accident that I find kinship with women farmers cross-culturally, transnationally. Food is a women’s issue.


  • Women make the majority of food purchases and have more responsibility for preparation.
  • Most “subsistence” farmers (those who grow food for their households and community) are women.
  • The largest numbers of undernourished and starving persons are women, followed by children.

In recent decades women farmers who grew food for their families have lost their land to male family members who grow for export, greatly increasing the use of chemicals, monocropping, debt and food insecurity.