I started High School 25 years ago this month. This also means that I met Dana 25 years ago (although we started dating decades later). It is really neat, therefore, to be starting University with her this week.
I also have zero doubt that our work on the blog and the inspiring communities within it are directly responsible for our return to academics.
What is food security? I’ve learned the definition from the United Nations this week:
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
I’m not entirely certain how I’ve ended up back in school. The topic is one that inspires and we’ve met people who have graduated or are taking the course and they’ve inspired me. I certainly am passionate about our food system and needing to create change in the way it works (or doesn’t).
When we started writing WellPreserved (December 28, 2008), food security, politics, policies and ethics were pretty foreign to me (in many ways they still are). My exposure to the health of our food system (globally as well as locally) was sporadic; it ranged from complete naivety to complete overconfidence. I had been raised a hunter, spent nearly 6 years as a near vegetarian (consuming no game, pork or conventional red meat at all), been involved in early debates about growth hormone as it related to cattle and new nothing of the state of our oceans, ignored the difficult processes of some mass agriculture and hadn’t encountered the term ‘GMO.’ I simply loved to eat and needed a hobby.
I’m not overly knowledgeable today. I know more than I did but enough to know that I know very little. I know that I have a lot to learn and I’m excited for the opportunity to do so.
Our course is an online course with a lot of interaction with other students from around the world. I’m beyond excited and, yes, a little intimidated.
I won’t be sharing the details of our class-to-class experience (for many reasons, including that of intellectual property of the school) but I will share many of the learning I encounter in the journey.
In our first week we’ve been introduced to an amazing online resource named ELDIS. ELDIS is a UK-based project which publishes academic papers related to food security from around the world (for free). Dana and I have been pouring through their section on Food Security where they’ve broken it down into several sections:
- Food Security
- Food Aid
- Food Policy
- Food Security and Gender
- Food statistics, situation reports and crop forecasts
- Households, livelihoods and assets
- IPRs and Food Security
- Right to food
- Social Protection and Safety Nets
- Urban Issues
ELDIS is a stunning resource and I’ve found myself thrown into a range of emotion based on the reading as I’ve found topics that inspire and make me hopeful all the way through to articles filled with incredible sadness. It certainly has been an eye opener and I’m excited to be back in a formal education setting (ironic as I ran screaming from it last time!).
I won’t be posting weekly on our learning but when something arises, I’ll be sharing it as part of our BACK TO SCHOOL series!
What resources do you turn to to learn about food? Has anyone else here studied food security? Is anyone else thinking about it?
For info on the course, click here. We are taking the first module (class 403). The 3 books above are optional reading for the course.