Food: Following the model of The Omnivores Dilemma, this assignment asks to you think back through the food chain. Choose a specific food item (one specific thing you have eaten such as a turkey leg or a slice of pizza or an avacado) and write about it from personal, cultural, environmental, and economic perspectives. The ultimate goal here is to write about what less evident choices you are making when you buy/eat this food. Some things you may touch on are how and where and by whom it is produced; how it has come to take the shape you find it in; its broader cultural significance (literature? song?); how it got to you; its history; how this food connects your own life to the lives of others. Remember Pollans comment that eating is an agricultural act, an environmental act, and a political actI would add to those that it is also a cultural act. Some specific requirements of the assignment: 1. first hand research: you must go to the store, farm, or whereever and actually find the food. Note how it is displayed, packaged, located. What strategies is the store using to get you to buy it? Can you tell where it is from? Are their multiple ways to buy it? (organic? frozen? canned? processed?) Why might you choose one form over another? Why might you choose this specific food over something similar (i.e. peas instead of beans)? 2. You must also do some second hand research and support your discussion with at least four sources; no more than two of these may be web sites. No more than one may be a commercial web site. Personal interviews are an acceptable source.
Some things that must appear in your essay:
–personal experience: this may include past experiences with the food; it also may include an account of your experience shopping for it; it should definitely include sensory experience.
–some thoughts about the cultural identity of the food: is it associated with a particular group or part of the country? a holiday? an activity? a historical event?
–environmental impact of your choice; not only how and where it is grown but think about transportation and processing
–a clear organizational plan!
–some interesting information!
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