February 23, 2012

Episode 03: “Food Fight” Song Contest– Submit your lyrics today!

This spring, Muse Video, KDOL-TV and Youth Uprising are proud to announce the Food Fight Song Contest, an open invitation to young bay area rappers, singers and poets to submit lyrics that address the topics of food justice, nutrition, and obesity, and how these issues affect their community. Our panel of judges will select artists with the most creative and thought-provoking lyrics to perform on a brand new, professionally produced track and music video addressing the topic–to be featured on Muse Video’s next episode and broadcast on KDOL TV Oakland! (Comcast channel 27, 99 on AT&T)


What We’re Looking For:

  • Submit 16 bars and an idea for a hook that address the broad idea of the “Food Fight”– whether it’s fighting to improve access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods, to get young people to eat healthier and exercise more, or against heart disease and obesity. Check the stats and links below for more information and ideas to get started.
  • Send your lyrics via email to: [email protected] — include your name, age, and a brief bio. Optional: If you want to go over the top, record a rough webcam video of you performing the song, upload to youtube and include the link in your email as well.
  • Note: Submission deadline is March 18th. Winners will be announced by March 23rd.

Submit your lyrics today!



More Information on Food Justice:

For a lot of people in our community, healthy food can be hard to find. Driving through East or West Oakland, you’re a lot more likely to find a liquor store or a fast food restaurant than you are to find fresh fruits and vegetables. Even for people who want to eat healthy, they often can’t afford or don’t have access to the right kind of food.

That’s one reason America is in the middle of an obesity epidemic. Between 16-33% of American children and teens are obese (not even counting the ones who are just overweight). Weight gain causes 300,000 deaths every year through heart disease, diabetes, and many kinds of cancers.

There’s a ton of information out there about the problem– but one good place to start is a study that came out last year called F as in Fat: how Obesity Threatens America’s Future. It shows how 20 years ago, no state in the US had an obesity rate over 15%. Now, most states have obesity rates over 25%.

It also talks about the food justice problem– and how poor neighborhoods are the hardest hit by the obesity epidemic.

Racial and ethnic minority adults, and those with less education or who make less money, continue to have the highest overall obesity rates:

  • Adult obesity rates for Blacks topped 40 percent in 15 states, 35 percent in 35 states, and 30 percent in 42 states and D.C.
  • Rates of adult obesity among Latinos were above 35 percent in four states (Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Texas) and at least 30 percent in 23 states.
  • Meanwhile, rates of adult obesity for Whites topped 30 percent in just four states (Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia) and no state had a rate higher than 32.1 percent.
  • Nearly 33 percent of adults who did not graduate high school are obese, compared with 21.5 percent of those who graduated from college or technical college.

There’s no getting around it: food justice is a huge problem.

But many organizations here in the East Bay are working to help people access healthy food, learn to grow their own gardens, and take back the food system. Here are links to just a few of these organizations, where you can find more information on the topic.

Phat Beets Produce is a North Oakland-based food justice collective that supports local community gardens and farmers markets, and partners with Children’s Hospital Oakland on a youth market garden.

Planting Justice helps people in the community access food by teaching them to plant and grow it themselves. They help create backyard gardens as well as help maintain school and community garden spaces throughout Oakland.

People’s Grocery, based in West Oakland, is helping people in that community access healthy food by creating a mobile market, distributing “Grub Boxes”, and providing food justice education.

Also in West Oakland, City Slicker Farms has helped push urban farming to another level in Oakland by creating seven community market farms and over 100 backyard gardens in the community.

Finally, for a little inspiration, here’s a video called “Wheat Grass” by DJ Cavem, created by another great Oakland-based organization, Green For All:

There are many various causes for America’s obesity epidemic, and there are many ways to help fix it, too. Improving diet, exercise, and access to food are all important ways to make our community happier and healthier. Through your lyrics, you’ll be able to reach other young people in a fresh and powerful way, and help them make the right choices for their health and their future.

What will your message be?



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