What FoodAnthro is Reading Now, June 2nd 2017

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

If you’re a parent, you probably spend a fair bit time thinking about family meals. The Washington Post recently described the latest on whether you’re setting your kids up for… uhhh… good things. These kinds of articles are a little frustrating in that they set me up to be guilty, controlling, or aghast at our own families lack of ambition (we don’t have anywhere else to be most meals). Still, it seems to speak to an erosion of communal eating as a pretty normal part of life:

Here’s what they said: It’s best for the whole family to be together. But as long as one loving caregiver is consistently there for dinner, we’re giving our kids the stability they need.

Then there was this public statement in the UK about obesity. Check out this strong (!!) wording:

Our message is clear: whoever forms the next government cannot afford to neglect the obesity agenda. Obesity is blighting lives, costing the NHS billions a year, jeopardising the health of future generations, and it is entirely preventable.

Also in the UK, La Via Campesina has a publication on food sovereignty post-brexit:

Post-Brexit increases in the price of imports, shortages of farm labour and market volatility are likely to further undermine our national food security.

YesMagazine had this evocative article about dismantling racism in the (U.S.) food system

On the subject of land, water, and unequal power, please follow the stories of Somkhele in KwaZulu Natal, one of South Africa’s nine provinces, as they fight for water rights in the face of growing coal interests. Without water, there is no food.

In South Africa, as elsewhere, large chain grocery stores are rapidly expanding. The Daily Maverick had this story about supermarkets in South Africa, and their role in hunger. On NPR’s the Salt there was an interview with Michael Ruhlman about his recent book examining the luxury of grocery stores in the U.S.:

The sheer quantity of stuff that we buy and that’s available to us. It represents the extraordinary luxury that Americans have at our fingertips, seven days a week.

Lastly, over at the Kenyan Daily Nation, food shortages are described as a result of misrule, rather than drought. Some strong words, here:

In Kenya, the food production and supply chain systems have always been under the thumb of criminal profiteers ready to subject Kenyans to starvation and death so that they can profit from emergency imports.

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