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.


  1. Thanks for including my article on food, farming, and feminism from Ms. magazine. Your discussion group looks very interesting. You can reach me at elainelipsonATgmailDOTcom if you have questions about the article.
    Elaine Lipson

  2. If you are having trouble opening the Food Miles study, try this link: