Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eating our Way to Global Citizenship

Eating our Way to Global Citizenship:
A Rumination on the Role of International Education in Creating a Sustainable Future of Food and Identity

“The lesson of ecology is that one cannot care for the future of the human race without caring for the future of its context… A land ethic, on this view, is the moral thread that links past, present, and future individuals in a common culture. That culture can be perpetuated only if it respects limits inherent in the land context—for continuity in that land context gives shared meaning to cultures as they unfold through time.” -- Bryan Norton in Toward a Unity Among Environmentalists (1991,219)
“All education is environmental education,” writes environmental educator David Orr. “By what is included or excluded we teach the young that they are part or apart from the natural world.” Likewise could be said about an international education of food. While environmental and international education have grown more prominent in the 21st century, food has been relatively neglected as a subject within both international and ecological contexts in proportion to its role in environmental justice. Food ought to be among the highest priorities of all people concerned with the world’s one billion hungry people, the thousands of children who die daily of malnutrition, and the irreversible disappearance of Earth’s biocultural diversity. In the context of food, addressing sustainability requires a concern for not only economy and society, but culture and individual human life as well. Far from a private, domestic concern, eating fair and sustainable food is one aspect of becoming a global citizen.