Audio file

Fair Food: No Longer Just Fried and on a Stick

At, we may almost be forgiven (okay, maybe not)  if we thought that fair food was one of the fried concoctions sold on a stick, that as children we grazed on, waiting to see the prize-winning animals at our state fairs.

After talking with Dr. Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of the Fair Food Network, we can no longer plead ignorance about the heightened interest and willingness to transform the global food system so that it provides healthy, fresh and sustainably-grown food. To everyone, everywhere, according to their needs.  No more food oases, where abundance leads to waste. No more food deserts, where food may or may not be accessible, but threatens human and ecological integrity.

We learned, too, that fair food is more than making healthy food accessible and affordable.  Fair food advocates are philosophically holistic and attend to all parts of the food system: from making equitable the way land and water resources are parceled out and divvied up, to providing healthy, safe working conditions to ensure the well-being of food system workers.

While we may have some nostalgia for the state fair food of our pasts, the future of Fair Food and Dr. Hesterman's approach look very promising. And above all, ethical. 

And  come to think of it. We may find that in a few years, when the Michigan State Fair revives, its success comes from serving the new healthy, fresh and sustainably-grown food from the many flourishing local markets, gardens and food programs initiated  through partnerships with Dr. Hesterman's Fair Food Network.

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