Environmental activist and culture critic, Wendell Berry states in “The Pleasures of Eating,” “When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, the eaters are suffering a kinds of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous” (Berry 2) The obesity epidemic, mass hunger, the invasion of overly-processed and GMO-contaminated foods are just a few of the frightful consequences of our society’s overall disconnect with the food system. With so many obvious shortcomings, how does one even begin to tackle the wicked problem of food? According to several culture critics, including Michael Pollan, the raising of awareness via the education of students is an excellent starting point (Pollan 2008). Following the vision of The Sprout Society—a Grand Valley State University student project proposed during the winter 2014 semester of LIB 322: Wicked Problems of Sustainability—our LIB 342: Food Matters class partnered with Black River Public Schools to create “The Hungry Games”—a nine day program that can be utilized by the school during their spring 2015 Project Term. The purpose of “The Hungry Games” is to develop food literacy and expose students to the corporate and industrial take-over of the food system. We have provided an overview of our research, design and collaborative process, a sample curriculum and an idea for the final project that instructors can use to develop, in students, the knowledge and tools to be active and critical consumers of food. “The Hungry Games” curriculum explores the following four themes: 1) Why should we care; 2) Where does our food come from; 3) Nutrition; and 4) Food Waste. Lastly, the program incorporates a variety of hands-on activities including a lesson on making green smoothies and a field trip to Holland’s Eighth Day Community Farm. Time proved to be a primary limiting factor in the development of this program. It is hoped that this program will prove successful enough for a second installment, so that these food issues can be further developed.
Deters, Timothy; Garnaat, Michael; Gonzales, Isabel; Kupres, Megan; Lugo, Evelyn; Munniksma, Ashley; Rivera, Jose; and Spencer, Nathan, "The Hungry Games" (2014). LIB 322: Wicked Problems of Sustainability. 12.