Anthropology of Food

This week, we are going to look at where specific items that we consume were literally grown and calculate how many miles our food traveled to get to our plates. You can choose to do this activity for the items used in a single meal you eat this week, or you can select 5 items from your kitchen (even if they don’t necessarily come together to make a meal). For produce and meat, you may have to look at the signs in the grocery store to see where they are ‘products of’; most packaged foods include a point of origin on the label. Using at least 5 items, list what the food is and its point of origin. Then, determine how many miles that food has to travel to get from where it was grown to us here (note: if you only know the country of origin, which is likely, you can calculate the distance to a major or capital city of that country if you need to get more specific for your search). If you did your calculations for all the parts of a single meal, what is the total ‘mileage’ for your meal? For everyone, what does this activity make you think or feel about globalization and delocalization of food?

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