A guide to eating, finding and growing local food in Detroit
This food guide was originally published in Detour Detroit and Planet Detroit.
Food is one of our basic needs. But finding good food – good for the earth, good for our community, good for our bodies, and good for our wallets – is far from easy. This is a challenge that has a particular impact on Detroit, where COVID-19 has only exacerbated unemployment and poverty. Prior to the pandemic, 39% of Detroit households were food unsafe and thousands did not have easy access to grocery stores.
Fortunately, there is an ingrained network of urban farmers, local grocers, lawyers, educators, service organizations, and restaurateurs who make healthy foods, put them in the hands of Detroiters, and share their knowledge of how to improve your meals (inexpensively).
Because not only unusual dishes that are served in new restaurants deserve praise – you too. Did you make your way to Eastern Market to buy your produce from a producer in Michigan? That’s a win (especially if you’ve doubled your SNAP money). Do you grow your own cucumbers – or save one from the trash by pickling it? More victories. Did you find a free grocery outlet when you were struggling and then turn the deals into dinner that nurtured you and gave you a little extra time to pay other bills? This is the epitome of good food.
On The Hunger Files series, Detour and Planet Detroit spent months studying Detroiters’ solutions to feed themselves and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, examining the restaurant industry, food banks, and urban agriculture. We’ve seen an incredible, urgent need among Detroit families – but we’ve also seen Herculean efforts to meet that need, ingenious solutions, and a longstanding, radical commitment to food sovereignty.
As part of this project, we spoke to dozen of local experts who are knowledgeable about food, from seeds to the table. The Hunger Files Guide is a bite-sized taste of their wisdom on growing, canning, and finding local food in Detroit, with tips on things to do starting today.
Click here for the rest of the guide.