Episode 3: How The Abibiman Project is Tackling Food Insecurity One African Dish at a Time | Urban Limitrophe Podcast #cities #foodsecurity #podcast

In this episode, I discuss a bit about the impact of food insecurity in cities with Chef Rachel Adjei, the founder of The Abibiman Project. The Abibiman Project is an initiative started by Rachel in October 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that uses African cuisine and ingredients to help promote social justice and reduce food insecurity in Toronto's black community. Through the project, Rachel sells African dishes, spices, teas, chocolates, and more, and all proceeds go towards the Afri-Can FoodBasket, a non-profit that through its various programs helps promote food sovereignty and justice for Toronto's Black community. 

In this episode, you'll learn about:

  • How The Abibiman Project got started and has grown
  • Food security and its impact on newcomers
  • The role of cultural appropriateness of food in food justice
  • How Rachel uses food to build community
  • and much more!

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Guest: Rachel Adjei

Rachel is a chef fighting racial injustice through food while encouraging others to explore the diverse cultures of the Black diaspora.

Connect with Rachel


  •  03:30 | Introduction to The Abibiman Project
  •  06:09 | How the project has evolved
  •  07:29 | How Rachel sources her ingredients
  •  09:30 | The most fulfilling aspects of implementing The Abibiman Project 
  •  11:02 | The most challenging aspects of implementing The Abibiman Project 
  •  12:36 | How Rachel developed her interest in African culinary history and cuisine
  •  14:10 | Her experiences with those familiar with African food and those who weren't
  •  16:52 | Her thoughts on the role of culturally appropriate food in supporting food justice and food security
  •  20:33 | What's next for The Abibiman Project
  •  23:40 | How the initiative helps to cultivate community
  •  26:35 | How the African products are missing from Canadian grocery stores
  •  29:19 | How people can support and get involved with The Abibiman Project 

Show Notes

Want to learn more? Check out this episode's references!

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). (2020). Africa agriculture status report. Feeding Africa’s cities: Opportunities, challenges, and policies for linking African farmers with growing urban food markets (Issue 8). Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Retrieved from https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/AASR-2020-Feeding-African-Cities.pdf

Alonso, E.B., Cockx, L., & Swinnen, J. (2018). Culture and food security. Global Food Security, 17, 113-127. doi: 10.1016/j.gfs.2018.02.002

Battersby, J., & Watson, V. (2018). Addressing food security in African cities. Nature Sustainability, 1, 153-155. doi: 10.1038/s41893-018-0051-y 

Battersby, J., & Watson, V. (2018). Improving urban food security in African cities: Critically assessing the role of informal traders. In Integrating food into urban planning (pp.186). Publisher: University College London (UCL) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329374438_Improving_urban_food_security_in_African_cities_Critically_assessing_the_role_of_informal_traders

Duignan, S. (2019, January 17). Canada’s new food guide: A fail on culture and sustainability. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/canadas-new-food-guide-a-fail-on-culture-and-sustainability-109718

Gustafson, S. (2019, April 2). Global report on food crises: 113 million people in 53 countries experienced acute hunger in 2018. International Food Policy Research Institute. Retrieved from https://www.ifpri.org/blog/global-report-food-crises-113-million-people-53-countries-experienced-acute-hunger-2018

IHC Global. (n.d.). Key policy topics: Urban food security. IHC Global. Retrieved from https://www.ihcglobal.org/key-policy-topics/urban-food-security/

Roberts, M. (2020, February 3). Black food insecurity in Canada. Broadbent Institute. Retrieved from https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/black_food_insecurity_in_canada

Roberts, W., & Stahlbrand, L. (2018). Chapter 22 - A smiling face is half the meal*: Setting a place for culture in food advocacy (*Latvian proverb).  In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/38372275/Chapter_22_A_smiling_face_is_half_the_meal_Setting_a_place_for_culture_in_food_advocacy_Latvian_proverb_

Tarraf, D., Sanou, D., & Giroux, I. (2017). Immigration and food insecurity: The Canadian experience -- A literature review. In People's Movements in the 21st Century - Risks, Challenges and Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.intechopen.com/books/people-s-movements-in-the-21st-century-risks-challenges-and-benefits/immigration-and-food-insecurity-the-canadian-experience-a-literature-review

Vallianatos, H. &  Raine, K. (2008). Consuming food and constructing identities among Arabic and South Asian immigrant women.  Food, Culture & Society, 11(3), 355-373, doi: 10.2752/175174408X347900

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Episode 3: How The Abibiman Project  is Tackling Food Insecurity One African Dish at a Time | Urban Limitrophe Podcast #cities #foodsecurity #podcast
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