who incorporate sustainable solutions into their lives and work. Through the process of connecting with community experts and potential mentors, students begin to identify opportunities and dream up career paths. In New Mexico, the story of food and agriculture is one that is intimately intertwined with history and tradition. Food is the great integrator, and the concepts of healthy, fair, and culturally appropriate food tend to resonate with our students on a visceral level. Food systems work is often community based, hands-on, and results in tangible (albeit incremental) change. Because many of our students are part of the millennial generation that places heavy emphasis on community engagement and social entrepreneurship, they are hungry to be involved in a movement that drives systemic change. It is no surprise then that Sustainability Studies students choose careers in food and agriculture. A number of young women from our programâ€”who have participated in the field school and the Lobo Growers Marketâ€” are now directly involved in the local food value chain through farming, value-added production, culinary arts, community health, film, education, and marketing. In some cases
their work specifically targets underserved, minority, and veteran communities. Currently, much of the energy and leadership behind local food systems development in New Mexico stems from a multi-sectoral group of women devoted to working collaboratively and at the community level. Graduates from Sustainability Studies who pursue careers in food and agriculture have looked to this exemplary group of female leaders for guidance and mentorship. As an educator and a sustainability advocate and practitioner, hardly anything is more rewarding than having students become colleagues. In order to facilitate this transition, it is essential to actively mentor young men and women dedicated to nurturing a vibrant economy, sustaining a resilient environment, and ensuring equitable access to healthy food for all New Mexicans. We must cultivate a generation of leaders for whom food systems transformation is a viable, accessible career. Jessica Rowland is a lecturer and education coordinator in the UNM Sustainability Studies Program. She is an avid backyard gardener and outdoor enthusiast, and an advocate of local foodshed development and low-carbon living.
photo ÂŠ tab62
By Jeanette Hart-Mann, SeedBroadcast The state of food today is arguably the most complex and problematic in the history of human life on earth. Population growth; food safety; food shortages; environmental disasters effecting food systems; malnutrition and nutritional diseases; depletion of ecological resources such as healthy soils, water, and open-pollinated seed; genetic engineering of agricultural organisms; use of billions of tons of herbicides and pesticides; the globalization of industrial monoculture; and the proprietary nature of industry and capital to challenge the independent food rights of people world-wide make food the critical issue of our century.
This crisis is ironic. In this complex problem is bound a pervasive paradigm, which normalizes the idea and practice of simplification and total control over nature through homogenization, mechanization, and efficiency. The chief objective of industrial agriculture in the twentieth century is to produce more, faster, and with greater profit margins. It commodifies food, soils, plants, animals, and people, while formulating them as predictable cogs within the industrial furrow of production and consumption. And this is the only viable way to feed billions in the face of climate change and eminent disaster, claim specialists, politicos, and corporations.
Published on Feb 26, 2014
Women and Food - The spring issue is a showcase of amazing women working in food and agriculture, from those defining local food distributio...