Food Desert! Food Desert?

Many food justice activists who are concerned about the implicit social assumptions hidden behind languages have spoken against the term “food desert”. According to Renee, a local food champion in Davidson, the catchphrase “food desert” masks the harm that unjust structure imposes upon communities by detaching the phenomenon of food insecurity from the intentionally, and historically, designed unjust social structure, …

Commons and Black History Month

Every year Vail Commons serves a meal in honor of Black History Month. When you go to the Express Line, you’ll see Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, and Black Eyed Peas, with the occasional array of hot sauces. This tends to be one of the better meals Commons has to offer, yet the meal selection seems to me to …

Sow Much Good In The Future

If you are a part of the Davidson College community, it’s like that you’ve heard of Sow Much Good, a non-profit based in Charlotte that is working to end food deserts. By providing affordable organic and locally grown produce, this Robin Emmons and her dedicated team and working to address this important environmental justice issue.  With one farm in Huntersville …

Social Desirability: Driver of Public Food Choices

This week in class, we discussed how food preferences and food consumption can heavily impact our identity. Similar to the male preference for magazines discussing weight lifting or nutritional supplements and female preferences for magazines including weight loss tips, there is a traditional understanding that men and women prefer certain foods. The psychological term social desirability refers to the idea …

Barbies causing anorexia

Some scholars, like O’ Connor, claim that eating disorders like anorexia, happen due to identity issues. It has usually been observed with perfectionist young people who are very disciplined and thus want their diet to be as well.   Other scholars argue that toys, such as the Barbie dolls, can also contribute to the development of anorexia. Young girls look …

Greek Cuisine: Tradition, Civilization & Culture

One of the most authentic cultural elements of a civilization is gastronomy. The specifics of cuisine taste of a region are often related to the characteristics of a society, and they “reveal” elements of cultural and economic history. At the same time, food and flavor seem to have a strong way of communication. Greeks would say, food is a way …

Interethnic Dining and the Information Era

The Appadurai article about cookbooks and national cuisine addresses the fact that recipe exchange is one of the fastest ways to encourage interethnic dining, and facilitate culture sharing. This obviously makes intuitive sense, but why does it seem like the opposite is happening? We’ve discussed in class the loss of “food knowledge” and the inability of many people to create …

Giving Locals a Voice through Art

From what we’ve read and discussed in class so far, it seems to me that one very important and sometimes challenging part of moving towards sustainability is including the community itself in the process and being sure to take into account views and what they want to see happen rather than just bringing in an expert from the outside to …

To Go Veggie or Not: That is the Question

After reading the Nierenberg article, my negative feelings towards meat consumption arose again. Two years ago I saw the film Food Inc., and it changed the way I thought about meat forever. Growing up in a lower middle class family, we really did not have many options when it came to purchasing meat. We went to Kroger (a supermarket like Harris …

McDonalds: A Post-Mao “Place”

Why do Americans eat at McDonalds? What comes to my mind is convenience, speed, affordability, and satisfying hunger. However, in 90s Beijing, one ate at McDonalds for modernity, leisure, an enjoyable environment, and socialization. Although fast food is now treated differently in China, why did people in 90s Beijing feel this way about McDonalds? By reading “Of Hamburger and Social …