When looking at health and disease within the American diet, people may not necessarily know where their food comes from. Within the agricultural farming system, subsidies, the mode of packaging and production, genetic modification, organic labelling, and transportation can be an overwhelming and a confusing process in our food consumption practices and choices. Some of us may choose to purchase from local farms or buy fair-trade goods, but for others, there may not be a local grocery store within the neighborhood to purchase nutritious food items.
In the article, “The Hidden Resilience of “Food Desert” Neighborhoods” we will learn how the term, “Food Desert” was created. There is a debate that this term wrongly implies a geographical determinism that people “surrender” to processed and fast food due to the effects of poverty. The videos below offer two sides to this issue. In Philadelphia, a grocery store has been very successful employing the community and stocking their shelves with nutritious food items and offering an in-house nutritionist, credit union, and medical clinic. On the flip side, the second video presents data that building a supermarket in a low-income neighborhood does not contribute to healthy eating or eliminate obesity.
The Hidden Resilience of “Food Desert” Neighborhoods (https://www.sapiens.org/culture/food-deserts-washington-dc/)
REVIEW: Anthropologists and other scholars are delving into the plight of urban communities where people struggle to meet their nutritional needs. In the process, these researchers are discovering the power—and limits—of self-reliance.
-REVIEW: In Philadelphia, a fourth-generation supermarket owner has gone where others have feared to tread: food deserts, low-income neighborhoods that have no direct access to a real grocery store. The small chain has given these communities a place to get nutritious food, health services and maybe most important, hundreds of new jobs. For a video transcript, visit: Building an Oasis in the Philadelphia Food Desert (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/building-oasis-philadelphia-food-desert#transcript)
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tayxf5q5y8c
-REVIEW: The US government has spent perhaps a billion dollars trying to bring healthy food to “food deserts”—areas without access to large-format stores and the assortment of nutritious foods they carry. Addressing this shortage of supply, some policy makers reason, will close the nutrition gap between high-income and low-income households. However, Chicago Booth’s Jean-Pierre Dubé finds that the problem is far less an issue of supply than it is of demand: his research, drawing on the Nielsen datasets at the Kilts Center for Marketing, indicates that the nutrition gap is driven by personal preference, not availability. Dubé suggests that to close the gap, policy makers should start looking at the perhaps more difficult question of how to affect people’s choices in the supermarket aisle.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIRbJEYb2Yg
Post: (15 points = 15 sentences minimum)
In the video, Building an Oasis in the Philadelphia Food Desert, Jeff Brown, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores walks through his grocery store showcasing the unique food items that are tailored to his clientele based on culture and ethnicity, such as sweet potato pie for his Southern customers, religiously sanctioned meat and a halal meat room for the Muslim community, and Fufu flour for West African immigrants.
As an example of his focus on cultural preferences, you will choose one culture or ethnic group in your community to discuss as a Food & Culture Advocate.
Questions to answer for Discussion 3:
-Discuss how you can create a plan/solution to introduce healthy food options that are low cost, but also meet the unique tastes and preferences of your culture or ethnic group.
-Provide one goal for an improved diet to reduce disease and unhealthy eating.
-Explain how your group can reconnect with food. Would your plan involve a farmers market, community garden, cooking exchange, or food trade group?
-As a foundation for reciprocity, describe how everyone can share in the resources as well as serve others in the community who may not have equal access to time, labor, money, or other resources.
-Explore the concept of a division of labor based on age or gender roles. If your division of labor is overlapping, please explain how the community can work together to achieve your goal.
Human societies display a wide diversity of sociopolitical complexity. From the smallest scales of social organization, hunter-gather families, to the largest and most complex states, our forms of interaction typically involve community and belonging. Culture is formed on the basis of shared thoughts, values, traditions, and norms which shape the society and ways of thinking. Within our varying and unique lifestyles, we recognize kinship, marriage and residence patterns, membership in networks, and structured forms of organization and behavior (be it formal or informal).
As we will learn in the video about Papua New Guinea, the community maintains a fishing subsistence lifestyle that is isolated without electricity or indoor plumbing based on the geographic location. Their rituals are rich with color, dance, design, and traditions that extend through the generations. In this discussion, you will share a family or community activity, cultural tradition, or ritual and identify sociopolitical dynamics, changes across generations or over time, and match your community/family group as a band, tribe, chiefdom, or state.
REVIEW: Dive deep into the unexplored, mystic Papua New Guinea. Witness tribal rituals all the way from notorious highlands to isolated atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Learn about the thoughts and lives of Papua New Guineans, and find yourself admiring beautiful landscapes the nation holds within. Is there still cannibalism in Papua New Guinea? How do Papua New Guineans live? What is it like in this mysterious nation? “Expect the unexpected”, as the locals say, and find out!
-Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBnCujiom5k
Post: (15 points = 15 sentences minimum)
Questions to answer for Discussion 4:
-Explain a family or community activity, cultural tradition or ritual that builds a sense of connection within or outside of your immediate family. Share dress, styles, and other forms of expression.
-Describe any social stratification within the activity based on age, gender, or family (single/married), kinship, etc.
-Identify how the tradition, ritual, or activity has changed over time or generations, if known. Maybe it changed during the Covid pandemic.
-If you were to label your group a tribe, band, chiefdom or state, describe which form of sociopolitical organization best describes your group and name three key characteristic
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