What FoodAnthro is Reading Now, December 21, 2016

A brief digest of food and nutrition-related items that caught our attention recently. Do you have items you think we should include? Send links and brief descriptions to dberiss@gmail.com or hunterjo@gmail.com.

This week, perhaps you could start with by reading this short article on a macadamia nut farming in California. It captures the ups and downs of small farm particularly well, and the ways that farms in their area of interconnected:

Kennedy says his crop will also be short because he didn’t want to sap his community’s water supply and overpump: “We’ve lost a few walnut trees. But as an English walnut tree disappears or dies, usually the black walnut rootstock survives. They’re pretty hearty so I cultivate those and bring the black walnut up.”

Although this is supposed to be about what we’re reading, the online universe seems to have more and more podcasts to listen to: Tim Ferriss interviewed Mark Bittman recently, with the subject “Changing the World and Living Dangerously.” In some ways Tim Ferriss is on the cutting edge of internet trends– and perhaps of the “body as machine” phenomenon. On the podcast we learned that Mark Bittman also has his own new podcast, which we think will have a lot of interesting material for our readers. Bittman describes himself as the “frankest food voice in America.”

Moving Eastwards, this story about tracking food flows in Laikipia County, Kenya is an interesting picture of a food system in a specific context.

Also in Kenya, the opening of a KFC in Kisumu has been heralded as an economic opportunity for both chicken farmers and as a local employer. The role of YUM foods– and the tremendous success of KFC– in sub-Saharan Africa is a fascinating area for study:

The opening of the restaurant had attracted a number of people who had queued to sample its delicacies with many expressing their delight about the decent service.

Here in South Africa, this story of Zimbabwean market farmers and the role this farmer (and others like her) play in providing vegetables to poor communities:

“At the same time, I don’t forget my local community. I sell them the vegetables at a highly discounted price because this community is poor. Unemployment and crime are very high here. Also cases of malnutrition have been reported.”

This article about a so-called food desert in Washington D.C. provided many insights of how food activists are thinking about food systems and food systems change. They’re looking far beyond the food environment:

But food deserts aren’t just about food, said Sambol. “They’re also transportation deserts, education deserts, and retail deserts in general.” Oasis’s mission is to expose all the factors contributing to food deserts, and then work methodically to target them.

Do you have readings we missed? Send them through to us!


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