Marian Sauder Egli Responds to Timbrel’s Food Justice Issue

Editor’s Note: There have been so many positive responses toTimbrel’s latest issue centered on diverse perspective on food justice. The following email was sent directly to me by Marian Sauder Egli. She gave permission to have her perspective posted on the Mennonite Women Voices blog.

“I enjoyed every article in the Timbrel spring issue.

I find that refrigeration is an issue in understanding “Food Justice.”  For a couple years I shared a church-owned apartment in Harlem, NYC with a friend. We chose to eat and cook separately since we were seldom there at the same time and had differing food choices.

The refrigerator met apartment code standards but was smaller than anywhere I had lived up to that time.  We couldn’t buy in bulk or make a large kettle of soup to then divide into smaller portions and freeze due to space.  Even while having a clean kitchen, there is an on-going battle with roaches when living in a 5 story walk-up apartment building.  It was better to store dry foods in the refrigerator.

We did have a summer and fall fresh food stand within a couple of blocks where I lived.  And I worked near Union Square where there was a big open market.  When buying food I had to consider that I needed to take it home by subway and then carry it up 5 stories.  From the market, I have a photo of Amish buggies pictured on a stack of hard-pretzel boxes with the “World Trade Center” in the background.

When buying milk, the “best by used date” was only a couple days out from the day I was buying it.  I probably didn’t use much milk but of course I bought the smallest container which was the higher price. I’m not certain if the “used by dates” was true of all food products.  It probably was.

Feeding a family while living in a city apartment is costly.”

-Marian Sauder Egli

Have you experienced food injustice living in an urban setting? Share your stories with us…

One thought on “Marian Sauder Egli Responds to Timbrel’s Food Justice Issue

  1. Rhoda Keener on said:

    Thanks Marian, for your reflections about urban living and feeding a family in NYC. I also remember learning to shop in new ways when living in Manhattan and Brooklyn many years ago. I lived on the third floor in Brooklyn and wanted to divide a plant, so I went to my first floor neighbor and asked her if I could “borrow some dirt.” She finally understood that I wanted to have some soil for my flower pot and allowed me to do this. Later I wondered why I didn’t just go and buy potting soil. Rhoda

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