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Introduction to Food, Farming, and Community

Session 1

Summary

In this introductory session, learners share, discuss and reflect on the role and meaning of food in their lives, communities and cultures. To get acquainted, learners discuss their “food autobiographies” and share what they would include in their “personal food museum.” 

Guiding Questions

  • What foods and food related traditions are significant to each of us?
  • In what ways does food help define identities, cultures and communities?
  • What is “good food”?  What does it nourish?

Big Ideas

  • Food is a core part of identities, cultures and communities.
  • Eating is a biological need, but food can also nourish families, spirits, cultures and communities.
  • A food system is a series of interdependent elements that provides food to a community. This includes the growing, marketing, distributing, consuming and disposing of food. Food systems are comprised of human elements (farmers, gardeners, business people, and consumers) as well as non-human elements (stores, processing facilities, transportation).

Session 1 Materials


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"It is beautiful to me to see something that is really working. Tomorrow I will have my own business so I won't depend on big companies. I will have my own ranch where I can produce for a lot of people and have direct contact with people. The women come to me and thank me for giving them good food. Some have never had organic vegetables and they notice the difference in flavor. I want to do what is good for the world and when I don't use pesticides I am not only helping my family, I am helping the whole world."

Maria Inez Catalan, Soledad, California - Monterey County from Farming in the 21st Century by Cynthia Vagnett, 1998.