Food Studies/WILDER Collaborative Project Update / by Rose Tardiff

Kaylah, Anna, Michaela, and myself are a part of a food studies course (FST 402) examining urban food systems, their various components, historical development, as well as the disparities of food access that exist within them.  The class seeks to better understand urban food systems as a means of identifying more pragmatic ways to improve them.  

Inspired by the workshop style of WILDER as a platform for knowledge dissemination, and in the hopes of incorporating the physical legacy of the WILDER Compound, we are in the process of developing a modular curriculum related to food for our final class project.  Based on our own individual interests and informed by both the WILDER workshops and related workshop materials we've researched, our four-part modular curriculum will focus on the following topics:

1. Storytelling - Storytelling as a means of entering a discussion about respective cultural food ways.

2. Cultural Nutrition - A means of introducing foreign foods within a nutritional and gastronomic context, inviting participants to share their engagement with/knowledge of certain foods, or lack thereof.  

3. Nutrition and Community - How do we define community?  Identifying where communities intersect with food and the resulting health of a particular population.

4. Geography of Food -  Mapping the food environment participants experience within their own communities.  Discussing the concepts of food deserts and structural violence. Brainstorming how we could redesign our own food system in Syracuse.

The goal is for the curriculum to offer a collective learning experience.  They will exist in writing, and will hopefully become a part of the site to be utilized/adapted by the public at large.  We will also be implementing one of the modules at the end of day, April 19th (the Grow Your Own Food workshop). We're excited to share our findings and ideas with everyone, and will keep you posted on our project's progress!