Food and Environment 2 (Wednesday’s Post)
Hi everyone! I hope our final week of class is treating you all well!
“We form affective bonds with place. We dwell in it. It is where we live our lives, and it is more than the scene upon which our lives unfold.” -Edward Casey
I want to start this post off by asking everyone, do you know where your food comes from? If any of you are like me, then the answer, for the most part, is no. As college students on a budget, I think it is safe to say that the majority of us have had our fair share of processed and packaged foods due to their low prices and deliciousness…. but what are we eating and where is it coming from? We have all sat at restaurants and failed to ask our waiter or waitress where our food is coming from and while there is a rising popularity to eat locally and farm-raised foods in restaurants and at home, the overall stat is that “most Americans do not know where their food comes from (or the conditions under which is was produced) and, often through no fault of their own, rarely are they encouraged to inquire,” (Spurlock, pg. 9).
Spurlock’s article speaks about the Piedmont Farm Tour, that has been going on since 1992, in efforts to spread awareness and educate the public about where their food comes from. The food tourism connects each visitor to their own understanding of where they are and their importance in the interdependent ecological and economic network. These tours take place in order to save the disappearing farmlands in North Carolina because with the rise in developments, property taxes and land values, the farms are becoming no longer profitable. Sustainable farming, which in its simplest form, is the rejection of any industrial approach to food production, would be nearly impossible if it wasn’t for agri-tourism. Sprawls, or unsustainable developments, are overtaking North Carolina’s farmland, but farmer’s and anti-sprawl advocates, are struggling to fight back but the Piedmont Farm Tour provides a new perspective to the problem. Spurlock states that, “to experience this tour is to experience those values toward the land, labor, and community through shared storytelling, discussion, and sensory-based exploration and discovery that invite connection and self-reflexivity,” (pg. 12).
I think that the best part of the tours is the fact that they are all self-guided. The CFSA does not tell Piedmont Farm Tours how to run their tours in order to produce the same common knowledge amongst all visitors. The CFSA encourages each of the 30 farms participating to be creative in their ability to spread their knowledge. At each site on the tour, farmers explained to the tourists the harsh realities of resource and water shortage, global warming, trade deficits, and food security through their own personal experiences. Each tour aims to make a critical intervention that questions unsustainable practices.
The good news is that, even though the article provides numerous warnings, Spurlock believes that there is still time to save the farms if society acts accordingly. Do you agree with Spurlock? Do we have enough time? What do you think could be done to save sustainable farming practices? Do you think that unsustainable food practices should exist? Why or why not?
I tried not to make this post insanely long because I know everybody is swamped with their final papers but I hope you enjoyed it!
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