Getting to the root of sustainability

Sustainability is an idea that we always talk about on a larger macro scale. We legislate for it on federal and state levels and always try to create one size fits all solutions. Ironically, even the term “local” is something that we use to broadly cover all sorts of perceived solutions for the broader “problems” in our food systems. Even …

The Paradox of Sustainability

In economics, one of the first things that undergraduates learn is Thomas Malthus’ theory of population growth. The idea is that population grows at an exponential rate while food production could only grow at an arithmetic rate. This means population growth should theoretically outpace food production and provide a natural check. As humanity typically does, we found away around Malthus’ …

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 …

Food Shaming: The New Social Pressure

We come to class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday prepared to talk about how we can make our eating habits healthier for both ourselves and our planet. We’ve discussed food deserts, cultural differences, and fiscal constraints and actually come up with some pretty solid ideas for mitigating the impact of these problems. That’s great. What I find not so great …

Cost Shifting and Farmer’s Markets

Recently, we’ve had lots of discussions about food deserts  in class and how we can help to change the availability of healthy, sustainable food for lower income demographics. Recently, some North Carolina Farmer’s Markets have started accepting food stamps as a way to reach out to low income people.  That won’t be enough. People in poverty obviously have a limited …

Culture Sharing and Capitalism

As children of the West, most of us are very fond of capitalism and all of the comforts that it brings us in our way of life. Even our poor maintain a much higher standard of living than the third world. Some people argue this is because of other extraneous factors like geography, culture, etc. and that may be correct, …

Guilt and Gluten Free

Recently while on a team trip, I couldn’t help but notice a female teammate (and close friend of mine) decided to take a pass on our traditional post-meet bus pizza. Typically I wouldn’t think anything of this, but I had just read an article in Cosmo (magazines sort of float around the bus) minutes before that discussed the meteoric rise …