A Recipe for GentrificationFood, Power, and Resistance in the City

A Recipe for GentrificationFood, Power, and Resistance in the City

Alison Hope Alkon, Yuki Kato, and Joshua Sbicca

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9781479834433

Publisher: NYU Press


From upscale restaurants to community gardens, food often reflects shifts in taste that are emblematic of gentrification. The prestige that food retail and urban agriculture can lend to a neighborhood helps to increase property values, fostering the displacement of long-term residents while shifting local culture to create new inclusions and exclusions. And yet, many activists who oppose this dynamic have found food both a powerful symbol and an important tool through which to fight against it at scales ranging from individual consumption to state and national policy. The book argues that food and gentrification are deeply entangled, and that examining food retail and food practices is critical to understanding urban development. A series of case studies, from super-gentrifying cities like New York, to oft-neglected places like Oklahoma City, show that while gentrification always has its own local flavor, there are many commonalities. In the context of displacement, food reflects power struggles between differently situated class and ethnoracial groups. Through the lens of food, we can see that who has a right to the gentrifying city is not just about housing, but also includes the everyday practices of living, working, and eating in the places we call home.

Table of Contents

Front Matter


Alison Hope Alkon, Yuki Kato, and Joshua Sbicca

Part I Dining Downtown: Food Retail and Urban Development

1 The Taste of Gentrification

Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J. Bosco

Part II Ripe for Growth: Alternative Food Systems

5 From the Holy Trinity to Microgreens

Pamela Arnette Broom and Yuki Kato

6 The Cost of Low-Hanging Fruit?

Emily Becker and Nathan McClintock

Part III Uneven Alliances: Contesting Gentrification from Within and Without

8 Diverse Politics, Difficult Contradictions

Michelle Glowa and Antonio Roman-Alcalá

10 “You Can’t Evict Community Power”

Alison Hope Alkon, Yahya Josh Cadji, and Frances Moore

Part IV Growing Resistance: Community-Based Strategies

11 Community Gardens and Gentrification in New York City

Justin Sean Myers, Prita Lal, and Sofya Aptekar

12 No Se Vende

Brooke Havlik

14 Citified Sovereignty

Analena Hope Hassberg

A Conflicted Conclusion

Alison Hope Alkon, Yuki Kato, and Joshua Sbicca