They say ignorance is bliss, and I can’t entirely disagree with that. Before August of this year I didn’t really know anything about food justice, and at times I think that might have been for the better. I have always thought I was doing my fair share when it comes to food ethics- I have been a vegetarian for a while now, mostly for animal rights reasons and partially for environmental reasons. I don’t waste much and I try to avoid foods packaged in plastic. I thought I knew what there was to know about food justice, until I started my YAV year. But let’s face it, once you know it’s your responsibility to help fix the problem. Sometimes I think it would be great to not be informed about the issues around food so I could just eat my chips and dip in peace, but I know at the end of the day it is better that I have this knowledge. I understand that we are all busy people and after a long day/week/life it’s not everyone’s first choice to come home and read books about food justice. For all my interested but unmotivated friends out there- I’m about to make food justice education so easy, you won’t have an excuse not to know.
I take absolutely no credit for compiling this list- as it all came from Eve Andrews at Foodtank.com. She has compiled a list of “24 TedTalks That Will Help Save the Food System”. For those of you that are not familiar with TedTalks- they are usually 15-20 minute speeches from well informed people that can provide statistics and sources while they discuss pretty much any topic. So if you are feeling stuck at work and you need a break to reset your brain, take a moment and watch one of these TedTalks. The more you know about the current challenges in food justice, the more you can help. Follow the link below to read short descriptions about each video and get access to the videos. They are all free on YouTube.
If you have a little more time to dedicate to critical thinking about food justice, I would highly recommend the movie/ book “A Place at the Table”. I watched the documentary with my roommates last week and we will be discussing the book that accompanies it next week. This film is relatively short (1hr 24min) but very thorough in explaining the causes of food insecurity and the health complications that accompany it. “A Place at the Table” shows real families that struggle with access to healthy, nutritious food and spends a good amount of time talking about childhood food insecurity. The documentary also touches on well-meaning legislative obstacles that have been in place since the Great Depression such as subsidies on corn and soy beans instead of fresh fruits and veggies. This film does a fantastic job at explaining food justice and would be a worthwhile watch for anyone interested in our food system, no matter how much knowledge you already have.
I would strongly encourage everyone to take some time and get informed about the issues with food in our country and in our world. Reading my blog is a great start, but there is much more comprehensive information out there. Now go watch some TV!