A Call for Blog Posts on Certain Timely Themes!
We invite anthropologists of any persuasion to contribute to a dialogue about contemporary cultural issues! The current cultural conversation about the meaning of food, the politics of our supply, the nutritional issues confronting us, and the consequences of a global food trading systems is robust, but how much of it is grounded in the close and fine-grained work to which we are so committed? Let’s not only join the conversation, let’s help shape it! As a first step, write a blog post about your relevant research or provide a commentary on an issue of relevance for local, state, national or global policy! Let’s make the SAFN blog a ‘go to’ source for many. Abigail Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Amy Trubek (email@example.com), the co-editors of the blog are willing to work with you. Send us an idea, a draft, a completed essay! Send us your ideas and we will work with you to develop, write, edit and post a 600-850 word blog post.
Here are 4 themes we would like to see covered in 2018.
1. 2018 Farm Bill
Food policy and movements were a charismatic issue over the eight years of the Obama administration. Over those years, policymakers, food justice and security advocates increased funding for farmers markets, urban agriculture, healthy food financing incentives, initiated the Let’s Move campaign, heightened attention and interventions on childhood obesity, and put pressure on prepared foods corporations.
Under another administration, 2018 brings us the next Farm Bill. Anthropologists of food and nutrition! Weigh in on where food policy and justice is headed–and needs to head–in the coming years. How do anthropology’s qualitative research methodologies, long-term, longitudinal and immersive data-gathering, and ethnographic presentations “matter,” in the post-fact/post-truth moment?
2. Restaurant work, the labor of commercial food production, #metoo and restaurant culture
Many of the recent media articles about sexual harassment in restaurant kitchens pointed out they have long been masculinist cultural spaces, where a ‘boys will be boys’ mentality was widely accepted. As more and more women become leaders in the industry what happens next? And what about the disjuncture between the idea of an ‘authentic cuisine’ being sold to consumers while the laborers in the kitchens have no real lived experience with it, but rather make such food primarily as a commodity transaction? Many anthropologists are now doing ethnographic research in commercial kitchens. Share your insights!
3. Archaeologists and food studies
Archaeologists are doing such innovative work around foodways, food waste, food security and more. Send us a blog posts on what your work on material culture is uncovering about these topics!
4. Climate change, food production, food consumption, modeling and behavior change
In many fields allied with anthropology – ecology, nutrition, public health, resource management – there is a growing movement to use mixed-methods to help create descriptive and prescriptive models in order to prevent practices seen to be facilitating climate change. Some recent ideas – Organize people to embrace a vegan diet; Outlaw the consumption of endangered species and promote the consumption of invasive species; Grow broccoli near cities to improve health outcomes. What can anthropologists contribute to this combination of research and activism? How can we incorporate the perspectives of the lived experience of people that might be ‘in the way’ of such change?