Becoming A Food Citizen Workbook

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Becoming A Food Citizen Welcome! These worksheets are part of Becoming a food citizen project, developed in collaboration with Rumpus Room Young Activists group, Rumpus Room, Jess from Daikon and Camilla from Kueche. Here you can find a few activities open to everyone, to explore our kitchen cupboards and imagining how food can inspire changes in our everyday life. They are part of the ‘Adapt & Act’ digital magazine, which on its second edition it will focus on the topic of Food. If you complete any of the tasks we would love to see what you have created. We shall put some of the artwork created in the magazine, even if you are unable to join the workshops! If you don’t wish to share, that’s okay too. We hope these tasks can lead you to see what we eat with new eyes! Please email the document, or scan/take a photo of the work you have made (if you want to share them) to

These worksheets were made by Jess Routley and Camilla

Crosta for Rumpus Room’s ‘Adapt and Act’ group. (September 2020)

Community Support and Solidarity

Welcome to our workshop sessions on food as a civic tool! We are three organisations interested in exploring the multilayered nature of food and its potential to inspire change in the place we live in.

The topic for the first week is food as a solidarity act. Solidarity lies in actions, and it helps in creating a unity of groups and classes. In the past months, the word solidarity became stronger and stronger, but what does it mean for you? What does it mean to adopt food as a way to care for your community? Through the following activity and discussion points, we will look at these questions, exploring local initiatives such as food banks, and community food projects.

Discussion Points Solidarity: What does it mean to have solidarity Food banks/ community food

with others? How is

projects : Do you know of any

solidarity different from

groups like this? Why do these


organisations exist?

Food in solidarity : Why is food often an essential part of solidarity? 1.

Key Term: Mutual Aid Source:

You will probably have heard of the term ‘Mutual Aid’ over the past few months. In response to the covid-19 pandemic, local Mutual Aid groups have been organised to make sure vulnerable people still have access to food and medicine even if they can’t leave their house. The idea of Mutual Aid is not a new concept however, really it is just another way of talking about helping each other. We may be more used to the idea of charity, where an organisation of people with resources use their time and money to help people in need. Mutual Aid however is more based on both giving and receiving help. So in terms of Covid-19, the idea is that I will help you with your shopping this week, and if I get ill next week then there will be someone ready to go to the shops for me.

Activities POSTER DESIGN: create a poster to promote the donation of suitable foods to a food bank. Draw and label your chosen foods and add some simple information for the viewer. Examples on the next page!

RUN+CHOOSE: in 10 minutes go to your kitchen cupboard and select 3 foods which can be donated or would help the food banks (this could be long shelves foods or something for the community fridges) - Why you choose them? What can you prepare with them?

SOLIDARITY STILL LIFE: Assemble a still life photograph with the foods you chose from your cupboard. Still life paintings we’re used in the past to show off expensive food items that few could afford, use your photograph to subvert this. Include the foods, with some fabric and choose some dramatic lighting. Add a message of solidarity too, to show that good food should be for all! Examples on the next page!

PROJECT PROPOSAL: Come up with a proposal for what you think a useful community food project should look like. Some things to consider are: Who

should it be for? Where should it be? Who should run it? Where could it get its funding from?


Still Life Examples

Still Life with Strawberries, Gooseberries and Asparagus, Adriaen Coorte , Still Life, Jan Davidsz. de Heem,

Vintage Veg Poster Examples

Source: Source: pin/815573813759753139/

B078Z7W5V8 propaganda_postersshredded_cabbage_delicious_in_s alads_home_front_wwii_uk/PP0921/


Food in Our Families and Communities

Welcome back! This week the topic of this workshop and discussion will be food in our relationship with others. Do you associate a particular food, dish or recipe with someone you know? It could be a friend or a family member, but that particular recipe becomes more special as it marks a personal relationship with someone. Food is a powerful tool which connects us to our families, communities and identities. It can also create new ties with people, groups and places, helping us in finding new homes and families. In this session, we want to give space to your stories about places, cross-generation recipes, memories and communities.

Discussion Points Dishes that remind you of a person, place or time in your life – What is it about this dish that is memorable? Do you think this memory has an impact on your identity?

Dishes that are important to your family – Are there any

food traditions in your household?

The dishes served at a cultural event that you take part in – Who cooks these dishes? What are you celebrating? Who are you celebrating with? Who do you wish could join you?

Inherited recipes – are there any recipes that have been passed down through your family? 4.

Artist Spotlight: Georgette Chen



Above are paintings by Georgette Chen, a Singaporean painter born in 1906. The paintings are of Chinese moon cakes, which are soft pastries filled like a thick, sweet lotus seed or red bean paste. They are eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival, a celebration during which families come together to spend quality time, pray and of course – eat! Though these paintings do not show the people present at the celebration, the bright colours and lively brush strokes show that these Moon Cakes are an important part of this community celebration. The foods we eat tie us to our communities and cultures and help us form our own identities and our relationships with others.


CREATE A SCENE: Think of a cultural event that you celebrate and draw/collage what the setting looks like – what food is on the table? Who is there? What decorations have been put up?

PERSONAL ACCOUNT: Write a short piece about a dish you learnt to cook – what is the dish and who taught you the recipe?

COOK A DISH: Cook a dish that you have spoken about in this session. Take some photos of the process and end result. We’ll share our photos in next weeks session. 5.

Food as Cultural Sharing

Our third workshop will explore food as an opportunity for cultural sharing. The act of sharing is "to partake of, use, experience, occupy, or enjoy with others", to have or to experience something in common. Food can be that "something in common". In the last week's workshop, we saw how food is associated with someone that you know. Sharing food is to create a common tie, an experience with someone else that you may don't know. It helps to learn about cultures, places and communities, creating empathy and understanding. This week we will dive into this dimension of togetherness, encouraging us to step out from our comfort zones and enjoy food with others.

Discussion Points

Migrant Food Businesses what is a migrant food business? Do you know of any in your area?

Your experiences of cultural sharing What food from another culture have you enjoyed?

The dishes we cooked last week - Could you share the images with the group and tell them the significance of the dish?

How can food bring people together? Discuss different ways this works.


Project Spotlight: Kueche’s “A New Scot’s Menu” Source: Image by Dariusz Sipowski

“A New Scot’s Menu was a one-off dine and view event which looked to celebrate our new scots community with a focus on Syrian, Eritrean, Sudanese and Scottish cuisine and cinema.

Glasgow is an asylum dispersal city which receives 10% of UK's asylum seekers. A New Scots Menu explored and celebrated the ways in which Scottish cuisine could adapt with the arrival of different cultures and communities across Scotland. The Eritrean, Sudanese, Syrian and Scottish fusion meal was a communal dining experience, accompanied by 3 diasporic short films discussing the Eritrean, Sudanese and Syrian transnational communities across the world. The menu and food was created by 3 female cooks from Eritrea, Sudan and Syria.” - Kueche

Activities A COLLECTIVE RECIPE: Working in groups of 2 or 3, contribute one ingredient each. Collectively decide on a recipe that includes all the ingredients. Be creative! It doesn’t need to be edible, but remember that sometimes the strangest ideas turn out to be something extraordinary!

YOUR OWN TAKEAWAY: what will you serve on your own takeaway? Choose 1 dish and imagine selling this dish to your customers. You can write a short text, you can make a drawing, you can record your voice while you describe it. Think about memories, your past, family and traditions - what you will tell?

WALK AND MAP: Have a walk around your local area and look out for migrant food businesses. If you’d like you can go in and ask the owners questions such as: •

Why did you start your business?

Who comes to your restaurant?

What dish would you recommend and why? 7.

Food and Environment

We are already at our last workshop! For this last session, we want to give a push to our imagination and develop together some food utopias. The world we live in is facing numerous environmental, political, social and economic challenges.

How can we use imagination to think about alternative food systems which are based on equality, fairness and justice? Utopias are imagined communities or societies with nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. When Utopias are correctly used, they can also improve people's social, economical, environmental conditions. Do you know of any issue related to eating and growing food which needs solutions? In this session, we will think about our future, playing with a sci-fi scenario and looking at our consumption habits.

Discussion Points Our consumptions habits – What are you and your family’s consumptions habits like? How could they be made greener within your means?

‘Green’ food consumption - e.g. buying local, eating vegetarian, not wasting food, growing your own What appeals to you? What do you think is possible for you and your family?

Problems and solutions: What environmental problems do you know of that are caused by our food consumption habits? What creative solutions can you think of? 8.

Artist Spotlight: Arthur Radebaugh Source:


Arthur Radebaugh was an American illustrator born in 1906. During the 50s and 60s he published Sunday comic stips called ‘Closer Than We Think!’ which depicted imaginative visions of the future. In a few of these he predicted high-tech solutions to farming such as giant ears of corn and huge oversized tomatoes. To some extent these creative visions have become a reality, with larger, more visually appealing and uniform genetically modified crops now filling our supermarket shelves. These new farming methods have created enormous amounts of environmental damage and are not the perfect solution to modern day consumption, as Radebaugh might have hoped. As a result of farming like this, we now have problems like loss of crop diversity, excessive greenhouse gas emissions and water poisoning from use of agro-chemicals like pesticides and fertiliser. Looking to the future, what will food production need to look like to un-do these environmental problems? Source:


Artist Spotlight: Gayle Chong Kwan

waste to make eerie landscapes. She says about her ‘Wastescape’ project : “Wastescape explores the effects of the controversial growth of the intensive dairy industry on water, land use, Co2 emissions and biodiversity in New Zealand. Chong Kwan used over six thousand used plastic milk bottles, collected from local schools and communities, to

create an otherworldly landscape of waste, which ‘grew’ out of the floors and hoppers of the six silos in Auckland Harbour .”- Gayle Chong Kwan, 2019.

Activities THE 2120 MENU: What we will eat in 100 years? Do you think we will learn how to reuse waste, eat new or more vegetables? Will still eat meat and drink water? Will we eat insects? Imagine three dishes that a person in 100 years will

eat. You can invent future food

THE TREASURE BIN: Get ready for some fun! Head over your bin, (yes, your bin!), and have a look at your food waste and look for food packaging and remaining of vegetables. What can you make with them? Could you make a sculpture? Or something else? Take photos of what you come up with.

or use something that you know already.

ALL SPACES ARE USEFUL: Think about a place in your room or house where you can grow food. Think outside the box, it could be a wall, windows, a

cabinet, under your bed. What will you grow? Imagine trying to convince someone else to do the same. Develop a poster to promote the alternative use of that space. 10.

Source: http://

Gayle Ching Kwan . She uses food and household


This work is by Scottish born, London based artist

Thank you for taking part! You have now completed these worksheets on ‘Becoming a Food Citizen’. We hope you have come away with more knowledge on all the ways in which food is political in our communities, our families and our environment. But remember, the learning never stops! Take what you have leant in these session into whatever you are doing next, tell your friends about these things and don’t be afraid to make a change! Remember, we would love to see everything you came up with, whether that’s photos, writing or drawings. You can email your contributions to, and they will be featured in the next issue of Adapt and Act zine!

Take care, Jess and Camilla


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