Do you know the journey food has taken to get to your plate with each meal? It’s probably a longer one than you think.
Throughout history and today, food production has been a key component of how members of a society organize themselves and express their different cultural norms and identities. The upcoming Our Kitchen Table series of classes at Bartertown Diner will explore different types of sustenance economies as well as the history of food from before the rise of civilizations.
Our Kitchen Table serves the communities of greater Grand Rapids by promoting social justice and empowering citizens to improve their health and environment. This Tuesday, OKT will be doing so in classes held at Bartertown.
Class topics will include the history of colonialism, the rise of agri-business and how these have destroyed cultural practices, as well as the relationship of cultures with food and the importance of biodiversity for preserving cultural heritage.
The classes are free. Participants are asked to purchase a copy of “The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans,” by Patricia Klindienst (2006, Beacon Press). The class will also include other readings, including selections from “Food and Culture: A Reader,” edited by Carole Counihan and Penny Esterik (2008, Routledge, second edition).
Each event will be led by Christy Mello, an anthropologist and GVSU adjunct professor. She is presenting her dissertation for her PhD in anthropology this spring at the University of New Mexico. She is a former Bloom Collective core member and was previously on staff with Our Kitchen Table, where she is now a consultant.
The first class is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9. Following classes will take place at the same time each month on Tuesdays to be determined.
Our Kitchen Table is a grass-roots, nonprofit organization serving the communities of greater Grand Rapids. OKT seeks to promote social justice and serve as a vehicle that empowers our neighbors so that they can improve their health and environment, and the health and environment of their children, through information, community organizing and advocacy.