Better than Blue Apron: The Role of Black Women in a Community-Based Meal Kit Project
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
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I used community-based research (CBR) to develop and pilot a meal kit designed to be purchased with SNAP benefits in a local grocery store. This paper discusses the role of women in the meal kit project, where black women’s knowledge was transferred to the market in the form of a meal kit sold in a grocery store. I employed a taste test as a means to gain feedback on preliminary meal kits, and the act of eating itself gave nuance to the participatory process. I found black women’s power in the kitchen is undermined through expert knowledge, but CBR has the capacity to take advantage of a term I call contradictory capital to make change through the market. I define contradictory capital as the simultaneous questioning and use of market logic through agency. While the market values hegemonic nutrition, contradictory capital inserts community into the market to serve those unrecognized.