Eco Literacy

  1. Notes from Ecological Literacy – “Fast Food Values and Slow Food Values” by Alice Waters
    • We are a nation of cynics – people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing
    • “…people are much more likely to think twice about whether or not they really need something if they have to dispose of it themselves.”
    • Anything worth doing takes TIME.
    • “But the seasons connect us to nature. They punctuate the passage of time and they teach us about the impermanence of life – something that our society hasn’t wanted to look at.”
    • Real pleasure comes from DOING – “If somebody else does it all for us, we miss out on the real juice of life.”
    • Work can feed our imagination and educate our senses.
    • The family meal has undergone a steady devaluation from its place at the center of human life.
    • Fast food values are pervasive and often appear where they least belong.
    • “In school cafeterias, students learn how little we care about the way they nourish themselves – we’ve sold them to the lowest bidder. At best we serve our children government-subsidized agricultural surplus; at worst we invite fast-food restaurants to operate on school grounds. Soda machines line the hallways. Children need only compare the slickness of the nearest mall to the condition of their school and the quality of its library and its cafeteria to learn that our culture considers them more important as consumers than as students.”
    • There are countless ways to weave a food program into the curriculum at every level of education – relevance to ecology, anthropology, history, physiology, and art.
    • Can be integrated into academics of every school kindergarten through university.
  2. Notes from Eco Literate – Part 4: Nourishing Communities with Food
    • Check out –> La Semilla Food Center in Anthony, New Mexico
    • “…how a landscape can impact what we eat, what jobs we hold, and even the relationships we have with our families and communities.”
    • Social justice Issues are tied to every aspect of the food system.
    • How does one transform a sense of possibility into systemic change in food justice, health and economics?
    • New Mexico is one of the most “food-insecure” states (1/7 struggle with hunger)
      • In 2011, the state’s adult obesity rate was 25.6%
    • Relationships are key to any authentic learning experience.
    • “There is also a deep sense of belonging – to the families, to communities, to nature, to life – that comes from reengaging in food at the community level.”  (Aaron Sharratt)
    • “Foraging the Food Justice Path” – Tony Smith (Superintendent of Schools in Oakland)
      • Causes of the inequities facing young students of color are systemic – the solutions need to be as well.
      • “When you move a system, you have to move all of it. That is why school food reform is built into the context of our new strategic plan. It’s about the long-term health and well-being of our students, and it’s about building sustainable systems.” (Tony Smith)
      • Must engage schools – students consume an estimated 40% of their daily calories at school.
      • School food reform is a basic equity issue.

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