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What’s behind the food we eat?

Posted on March 08, 2012 by Sarah

Here’s an update on what we’ve been discussing in my Pedagogy of Food course at OISE. First of all, we have a severely broken food system. Do you ever think about just where did your orange come from? Was it handpicked in a developing country? Was the worker paid fairly? How old are they? Are they happy? We partook in a mindful eating experience that reflected on these questions while also slowly, mindfully experiencing one raisin at a time. This blindness is called commodity fetishism. It’s an unhealthy attention to a commodity without regarding the social relationships that brought the commodity to us. It’s a product of our economic and political systems, creating a veil so we are unable to make informed decisions as consumers. We are unaware if the

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orange was picked by a child or by a woman who was sexually harassed. These types of veils are found everywhere in systems that affect us everyday, but when a small handful of corporations control the entire food distribution of the world, it becomes quite worrisome and dangerous. A phenomenal amount of money is spent selling and buying food, eating out, transporting and storing food, yet such a public necessity stays in a fairly private light, rarely being discussed. So what can we do as educators? Help foster critical thinking! Encourage, nay, praise questions! Excite students to make a difference and challenge them to form values and stand up for what they believe in. Model what active, citizen engagement is and have conversations about food. Plus, the only way you can inform others is to inform yourself.

 

An excellent resource for more information is “The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food” by Toronto author Wayne Roberts. It’s an essential read for everyone!

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2 to “What’s behind the food we eat?”

  1. sar says:

    What better way to talk about food issues than by enjoying food together in the classroom! Or does your school have one of those strict no sharing food policies?

  2. Lauren says:

    Great post Sarah! It is so easy to forget that people had to work for our food when we buy it in fancy stores like the SuperStore or Longos.

    Also – The No-Nonsense Guide’s are amazing resources for learning about all kinds of global issues in an accesible format. I think there are more than 20 and they cover topics such as conflict and peace, women’s rights, fair trade, and global business, health, religion, music and poverty. I would definitely recommend them if you are teaching Intermediate or Senior classes.



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