Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Food for Thought

We've put together a list of articles and papers that might be interesting of those of coming along to 'The Politics of Food' discussion group. Of course, there's no requirement that you read any of these. We don't necessarily agree with everything written in these articles, but hope they will give you some new ideas, and starting-points for discussion. Feel free to leave any comments here or on the event's facebook group.

Amartya Sen, 'The Rich Get Hungrier'

Elaine Lipson, 'Food, farming...feminism?'
This article discusses some reasons for women to consider supporting organic food and organic farming.

Penny Van Esterik, 'Gender and sustainable food systems: a feminist critique'
Esterik looks at how a feminist analysis can help us to understand the food system.

Mark Bittman, 'What's wrong with what we eat'
"In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what's wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it's putting the entire planet at risk."

Asha Bee Abraham and Sophie Gaballa, 'Food Miles: a preliminary study of Melbourne, Victoria'
This study
estimates the distances travelled for food items found in a typical Melburnian's shopping basket and the resulting greenhouse emissions from this transportation. (There's also a critique of the study here.)

'Food waste in Australia'
"Australians are throwing out three million tonnes of food every year – the equivalent of 145 kilograms for each and every one of us. That’s why Notebook: magazine has embarked on a Stop Food Waste! campaign that aims not only to raise awareness of the issue but offers practical solutions on how to plan, shop and cook to eliminate unnecessary food waste."

Anna Kellogg, 'The Hunger Challenge: how to eat on $3 a day'
Bloggers, activists, and US members of Congress have been taking up 'The Hunger Challenge' every year since 2007 - trying to live on the same amount that Americans on food stamps are given each week.

Margarita Windisch, 'The Politics of Food'
This article looks at rising food costs in Australia.

Raj Patel, 'Apartheid in America'
This post looks at the conditions for tomato-pickers in Florida, many of whom are immigrants. Patel says that the conditions they are living in are worse than those in South African townships during apartheid. As well as terrible conditions and low wages, over 1000 people have been freed from slavery in the area since 1997.

Wayne Roberts, 'Bittersweet Valentines'
An introduction to what fair trade chocolate means for those who produce it.

Julian Cribb, Yvonne Latham and Maarten Ryder, 'Desert delicious: Indigenous Australian foods for the global palate'
A brief overview of the emerging Australian indigenous foods industry.

Food Culture and Religion
Food is an important part of religious observance and spiritual ritual for many faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. This is a sample of some ways in which various religious groups include food as a vital part of their faith.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Real Food Forum

Those of you who are interested in our 'Politics of Food' event may also want to attend the Real Food Forum, which has been organised by the Greens:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Politics of Food: dinner and discussion

The next discussion in our Community Scholars programme will look at 'the Politics of Food'. It will be held on October 15th, from 6:30 until 8pm at the Edmund Rice Centre in Fremantle.

The Bluestocking Institute's Community Scholars Discussion Group brings together experts from inside and outside academia, encouraging cross-fertilisation across disciplines and between local, national, and global perspectives. Discussion Groups aim to develop dialogue in a relaxed atmosphere, and address issues of peace and justice.

'The Politics of Food' will be explore some of the ethical and political questions surrounding what we eat, how we eat, and how we produce food. These include:

* What is the role of food in bringing together communities, or holding them apart?
* How can we produce food ethically and sustainably?
* Can movements promoting 'slow food' and organic farming meet the needs of those on a low income?
* Can urban food production and community gardens help to feed the world?

We encourage people from all walks of life to join us for dinner and discussion. Whether you're involved in academia, activism, or just have a personal interest in the politics of food, you're welcome to join us. We encourage you to bring a plate to share, and to begin the discussion: are you vegetarian? Vegan? Do you try to 'eat local'? Do you have food that is important to your community? Are you too busy too cook?

Eating together has always been an important part of building communities: please help us to build a vibrant dialogue around the politics of what we eat.

You can join the discussion on the Facebook group, or stay tuned to this blog for readings and ideas for further discussion.