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Food Justice: it's What's for Dinner

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Hunched over a table at an Oakland, Calif., coffee shop, Navina Khanna is talking about one of the most moving moments in a "Food and Freedom Ride" she organized over the summer.

On their way from Birmingham, Ala., to Detroit, Mich., her group of 12 riders had reached Columbus Junction, Iowa, near a humongous pork plant operated by Tyson, the multinational meat processor. A former Tyson employee named Julio was describing his working conditions.

"Julio told us that in a day's work there, he had to move 4,000 hog hearts by hand," says Khanna, a 31-year-old South Asian American who has devoted her life to pushing for more equitable and ecologically sustainable food systems. "He talked to us about the number of injuries he's sustained -- everything from both of his shoulders being messed up to losing 20 percent of his hearing and his wrists getting broken. Every worker that we talked to said that in the morning they have to run their hands under hot water for 10 or 15 minutes just to get their fingers to move."