Sambhaavnaa Institute’s Workshop on The Politics of Food and Environmental Sustainability through Food Systems is organized by Sep 26-30 at 10:00 AM.
Have you ever considered how many aspects of food production and consumption affect your health and the natural environment? Every aspect needs to be considered in attaining the future goal to produce enough food for the growing population while at the same time preserving our planet. The choice of eating at at McDonalds or local chaat centre? Organic or conventional? Restaurants or home cooked? Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian? What dietary choices are truly the most sustainable when we consider that what we eat affects not just our health but also the environment and the well-being of others?
Food is something none of us can live without. Moreover, it shapes who we are and our relationships with other people and places. Where is our food grown and how? Where should we shop for it? These questions are fundamentally geographic. Exploring how food is grown and consumed leads to a deeper understanding of societies and environments and their complex relationships.
Meeting future food demand, and doing so in a sustainable fashion, will require that we greatly improve the efficiency by which food makes it to our tables. Join us to explore today’s global food system and how we might improve its sustainability for our benefit and that of future generations.
About the Program
The program addresses the complexities of our food system and the future of the food movement by exploring the intersections between food and culture, science, agriculture, health, and economics. It explores the overview of our world’s food system and its many impacts from the individual to the global scale. You will gain further appreciation of the complex implications of choices that are made along the food supply chain. You will be challenged to think critically about how the global food system may need to change to adapt to future economic and environmental conditions.
We will assess different ideologies of ‘good food’ from the perspective of human health, as well as from the perspective of social justice and ecological balance. We will critically assess the dominant model of food production through large-scale industrial agriculture and food processing. Is this model necessary to ‘feed the world’ or is it contributing to unprecedented lifestyle diseases, cultural degradation, extreme socio-economic inequality and displacement, and ecological devastation? If so, what can alternative, more sustainable food chains look like, and how can we be a part of them? Can we support small-scale food production and fair economic returns for farmers? Can we re-evaluate local food traditions and histories? Are there localization strategies we can participate in? How can we ensure that our ‘waste’ goes back to nourish the soil? Most importantly, we will consider what it might mean for each one of us to eat responsibly, and share strategies and tools for doing so.
Understand more about where your food comes from and a range of political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of food production, distribution, and consumption from the local to global scales, we will also try to understand about how food carries intrinsic meanings beyond nutrition
Themes to be covered in the 6-day workshop:
I. Food, Culture and Society – The development of agriculture and the domestication of plants and animals as factors shaping human cultures, Changing Indian Food Culture, Why Food Matters
II. Food and History – Green Revolution in India, Land Grabs
III. Hunger and Obesity – Social Inequity
IV. The Global Food System – Food Miles, McDonaldisation of the world, Genetically modified food debate
V. Food and Health – How to read labels, impacts of processed food on health, Supermarket Secrets, Food Ethics
VI. Food Related Social Movements – Discuss the development of alternative food systems, marketing systems, farmers markets, community gardens, and community supported agriculture, women’s movements, How to start a your own food movement, How to be more conscious in one’s food choice and make changes in one’s life
Socratic discussions, movie screening, case study analysis, role-play, and other such activities; it will include hands-on experiential learning, research and a field trip. We will question the structure, rules and practices of the food industry and develop food-systems intelligence
- Participants will understand the story behind the food they eat. The Politics of Food and who influences the choices they make which have a cumulative impact on the self, society and the environment. They understand how changing the food system starts with changing with how they view food. And that small changes in food choices can make big everyday difference.
- To work with their hands, tend a garden and grow their own vegetables
Who is the workshop for?
This workshop is for individuals interested in any and/or all of the questions and themes mentioned above. Those experimenting with alternatives in their own lives and with small communities, researchers, practitioners, nutritionists and those working around issues of food would find this workshop meaningful.
About the Facilitator: Purvi Vyas
Brief Profile: Professor of Politics of Food in all the major universities in Ahmedabad. She is a practicing organic farmer and a freelance Environment and Developmental Consultant. She is currently, working with rural communities to develop replicable models of sustained rural development.
Her core area of interest is to look at the issue of food choices. When one thinks of environmental sustainability food choice is not something that comes to mind straight away. Very few people actually understand the myriad interlinks of the food system and the impact of one’s choices.
Language: The workshop will be conducted bi-lingually (Hindi/English); proficiency in both languages is required of participants.
Dates and Venue: 26th to 30th September, 2021at Sambhaavnaa Institute, VPO – Kandbari, Tehsil – Palampur, District – Kangra, PIN 176061, Himachal Pradesh
Participant Contribution: We hope that the participants would contribute an amount of Rs. 6000 for 5 days towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all onsite workshop costs: boarding, lodging, and all the materials used in the workshop.
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