Coming from a family of vegans and vegetarians and also being a vegetarian myself, we shop the majority of our foods at farmer markets and co-ops. I personally love the idea of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, considering anything else packaged has been wrapped in plastic material for days, if not months. But after going to the farmer market with my mother, I saw for the first time the fact that the vegetables cost way more than the packaged and less healthy foods.
At Chestnut Hill College, a Spring semester English class is blogging about their experiences with all things related to food.
Today in class we were given an article titled "The Liberty to Feed the Poor" and it addresses the common issue of Good Samaritans all across the US being fined thousands of dollars for giving free food out to the poor. In a country with a staggering amount of hungry people for a "developed nation", but also with a large violent crime and drug problem among this population, what is the right thing to do?
There are a lot of advertisements in our world today. No matter where we go there will be ads that consume our field of vision. And, mostly, we ignore them. Mostly, they do not even register in our minds as being there because we are so used to them. Because of this ignorance marketing companies can usually be pretty stereotypical, if not downright insulting. In my opinion one of the biggest examples of this kind of advertising relates to the food industry. The food industry itself is a very vast network of advertisements.
Several months ago, as I mindlessly scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I stumbled upon an article that caught my attention. It was about Seattle building a food forest and how it would become the largest in the country. Both of my parents grew up in Seattle and I myself spent the better part of my childhood living in a town about 30 minutes from the city; so my familial and emotional ties to the city were enough to get me interested in the topic. Fast forward a couple months and I was spending hours researching and writing extensively about this very topic for my English 105 class.
Slowly but surely, progress is being made on Chestnut Hill College's newest campus addition - the garden at SugarLoaf Hill. Student volunteers and many English classes have been making trips to the garden to begin preparing the soil for planting. Most recently, students removed the top layer of grass to uncover a rich layer of soil underneath.
Throughout this semester in English I've been researching food, emotions, obesity, and how people decide what they want to eat. I was really interested in food and emotions because I'm a psychology major and I wanted to learn more about how what a person is feeling might effect what they want to eat. Through my research, I learned that people biologically and psychologically crave foods that are higher in fat and carbohydrates because that is how people have evolved.
Although there have been many advances on improving food security in Africa, there have been many hurdles to overcome to further improve the situation. Many government officials believe that by giving the countries the supplies they need, and set up the organization for them is going to help. But in the long run, it does not teach the people how to sustain themselves. They will soon rely the efforts from international volunteers and the organization will fall apart. The people will again revert back their original status of food insecurity.
One thing I have loved about CHC since I've been here is the amount of opportunities there are to serve people in the Philadelphia area. I have had the privilege of being in a certain English class that has an emphasis on food and service learning. As the class learned about different food related topics for our research paper, we got to experience the issues first hand.