Is. 3: Food for Thought and Praxis
Winter Issue 3, 2012
Food is essential to our nourishment, our cultural celebration, and our physical and mental well being. Although we are all passionate about what we eat, here at the YU Free Press we are also concerned with the injustices that are increasingly born of the globalized food system. On Canadian soils and beyond our borders, the production of food is a source of pain, suffering, and human and animal injustice.
Welcome to the third issue of our fourth volume: Food for Thought and Praxis. In this issue we explore a diversity of thoughts and perspectives on food, and we investigate implications to the current globalized food system. We also venture into the realities of food as praxis in our everyday lives.
Our Features articles include Maryam Adrangi and Laura Lepper’s look at food issues through the lens of migrant justice; in this piece, entitled ‘Food for All! Food Justice Needs Migrant Justice,’ the authors challenge the existing structures that prevent marginalized peoples from attaining sufficient sources of food. Devlin Kuyek discusses the intensifying corporate control dominating our food system in ‘Time for a Food Revolution.’ From Mexican Walmarts to land-grabs in the Congo, Kuyek covers the ways in which corporate interest effectively strips people of food security and sovereignty, and denotes vulnerability.
Our Features Section is not entirely bleak, however, for we do offer an array of articles that focus on regaining local agency within the food system through reclaiming land and food. ‘Land, Food, and Politics in Guatemala’ brings to focus the experiences of rural Guatemalan communities that are part of the campesino movement. In this photo essay, Simon Granovsky-Larsen shares with us moments of hope as members of the communities are finally accessing land for farming after years of conflict and struggle. Nathan Nun discusses the urban agriculture movement of inner city Detroit and the benefits of collaborative garden efforts in ‘The Transformative Possibilities of Community Garden Projects.’ In ‘Drawing a Line in our Land,’ Darcy Higgins recaps on the successes of FoodStock and how Ontario communities created a peaceful food-minded protest against a mega-quarry on some of Ontario’s prime agricultural land.
While resistance is happening on all these fronts, readers interested in combating current food politics may wish to start small. Jacob Kearey-Moreland investigates the benefits of an overlooked yet abundant food in ‘Rhubarb Revolution.’ In ‘Five Foodie Must-Haves to Occupy your Life,’ Jenelle Regnier-Davies offers a selection of accessible recipes to address the decline of food knowledge, and explores the ramifications of purchasing pre-packaged foods. Finally, Drew Woodley shares the historic context within which York’s own Absinthe Pub became the student favourite it is today. We send a special nod to ‘The Ab’ as being a stomping ground for many of the members of YU Free Press Editorial Collective.
Our exploration of the food industry is not limited to Features alone. In our News Section, the National Farmers Union explains how Bill C-18 seeks to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board in ‘The Attack on the Canadian Wheat Board: Seven Reasons Non-Farmers Should Care…And Act.’ The article goes on to explain the tremendous value of the CWB, as well as the politically problematic ways in which its existence is threatened.
In our Comments Section, ‘Call Off the War on Obesity’ questions the militaristic rhetoric used to frame eating practices. Author Andy Bellatti recommends that our food movements coalesce in honour of a cause – whole, minimally processed alternatives to what he calls the “Big Food” industry – rather than against the poorly defined concept of obesity. Further, Jen Rinaldi explores how fatphobia permeates modern Western culture in ‘A Reflection on Weight Management, and our Managers.’ Rinaldi identifies political and social pressures to control one’s weight, ranging from policies that would deprive overweight parents of their children, to the medical incarceration of the underweight. Both articles ask readers to critically reflect upon the equating of body weight with health, and also to consider who has profited from this conflation.
Our Arts Section offers an exploration of films that explain and interpret food politics. Léa Lefevre-Radelli reviews the documentary film We Feed the World, in which Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer characterizes global food distribution patterns and how those patterns starve peoples unnecessarily. Lefevre-Radelli notes how our eating practices have political ramifications, and claims that we are complicit in food waste and deprivation. Aaron Manton also delves into the world of cinematography, presenting documentaries and fiction films alike that provide keen insight into our food industries. In addition, this section includes the poem, ‘Kitchens.’ In this work, Giles Benaway ties food to his Indigenous heritage, remembering days he spent with his gookum as she cooked and told stories.
We thank Jen Rinaldi for taking the lead on Administrative tasks, and we welcome Alexandria MacLachlan as our next Copy-Editing Coordinator. As always, we also invite you to participate in the paper by contributing articles,poetry, art, or fiction, or by joining the Collective. We are excited to begin our work on the upcoming issue, where we will focus on Science and Technology. We strongly encourage all of you to join us as we attempt to go where no York student-based collective has gone before!
Yours in Solidarity,
The YU Free Press Editorial Collective