July 30, 2008

It's the politics of food.

Politics and the culinary world are no strangers. In order to live, we must eat and when some get too much or not enough, it causes upset and hopefully, positive political action.

Here are some of the most recent political issues I have come across with regards to food:

1. Most high profile chefs are still men. Surprising? Not to me. We live in a patriarchal society that values the public domain over the private. Once cooking moves from the home into a restaurant kitchen, and earns the title of professional - it becomes a role with power attached to it. Of course this would be something that is dominated by males. See? Feminism and cooking go hand in hand!!!!!!

The Toronto Star took a look at the surface of this issue.

2. Is it better to eat organic or local? I guess the answer would be "both". If you are someone that either has their own garden, or at least some fantastic connections to organic growers in your area, then lucky you. For the rest, we may need to choose.

Though I am not sure that it is the correct answer, I have chosen to stick with local foods as often as possible. This is for a few reasons:

- my carbon footprint will be smaller the more I buy ingredients from my area

- the quality of local ingredients is better, no rubbery tomatoes or half ripe strawberries

- it is important to me to support the local economy

- until recently "organic" foods were not regulated in Canada

Healthzone has written an article to describe some of the labelling in Canada.

Time and CNN have discussed organic vs. local in an amazing article on their website.

3. I try to reflect often on how I have contributed to my family, my friends, my community, the world. People who dedicate themselves to helping others are so inspiring and almost always lead me to think "What the hell am I doing with my life?"

I need to find a way to contribute more; something that will help me make a difference. Using issues that I am passionate about (feminism, food, education), I think will only help me in this endeavour.

Foodshare in Toronto is an amazing organization and is something I am researching. There is no branch in my area, but this may be a catalyst to start something...

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