Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Educated Palates

From a morning session with Kerri LaCharite, Sandy Sterner, and Jessie Buckner from Chatham University on college student food choices:

"Advanced capitalism practices the illusion of choice"

Sandy brought students on a forage tour of Chatham's 6 acre urban Pittsburgh campus to find 30 edible species - including apples, berries, mushrooms, greens. Although successful, the event was less popular among students than the guided tour of the local Whole Foods. Amazing to see what is possible even on a small, urban campus where we might not ordinarily consider wildcrafting as viable.

Kerri pointed to a disconnect between students' environmental "concern" and "awareness," recognition of global warming, population issues, etc. and actually engaging in meaningful, dirty, and productive work on the land. Students continue to predominantly have abstract concepts of nature and approach environmental issues from a consumerist perspective (i.e., we can buy our way out of this crisis).

Jessie: "The environmentalism taught in the classroom has no place to be practiced."

"There's nothing wrong with a little dirt in the classroom."

I couldn't agree more.

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