Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Sustainability |

The root of many of the ecological crisis that humanity faces can be found in the deepest strata of our worldview and our relationship to the natural environment. Our relationship with nature is profoundly tied to our relationship with food and the ways in which we extract it from the environment. Historically, people have kept an intimate relationship with the food they consume, if not producing it themselves, at least having a face-to-face association with what was on their plate, either through knowing the farmer and/or farm from which it came from or having purchased it from a local market. Looking through the lens of capitalism and the advent of the interconnected and globalized world which we live in today, food has become just another money-making commodity, necessary, but outside and separate from most of us. Industrialized farming, with its use of pesticides, genetic engineering, and mono-cropping reduces biological diversity and leads to an increasing array of unforeseen problems. These issues can be seen quite starkly in the corn and milk industries. The commodification of our drinking water has also unintended consequences and has created many pitched battles between large multinational companies such as Nestle, who wish to privatize local water sources, and organizations such as Bark, who, amongst other things, are fighting to protect regional watersheds and to keep public water, public. Those of us living in Western society have become so used to the modern ways in which we get our food and what types of food are available to us, that many of us are immune to the damage and destruction our food choices are causing. Our aim for this project is to explore more deeply the issues regarding the food we eat, and to get a clearer picture of how this is related to our relationship to the natural environment. We will be conducting two interviews, one with someone working with Sysco, a large multinational food company, as well as with someone working with a local community food producer. We will also be exploring alternative ways, both historical and contemporary, by which we might be able to find some more viable and sustainable options.