In many ways food systems guide the shape and boundaries of culture.  For decades anthropologists have noted the connections between food systems and carrying capacities to social and cultural forms of expression and organization.  Anthropologists often cite the development of agriculture in Mesopotamia and the simultaneous population growth and urban developments.  But less often do we hear how combinations of environmental, political factors, and over exploitation led to the eventual collapse of robust urban centers even in ancient times.  Through an exploration of our own food systems a better understanding [Read More]

 

  I am shocked to see how many people do not seem to support the Occupy Movement. Many of my classmates, and indeed some of my close friends continue to find fault with some aspect of it. While there are some characteristics that I myself question, as a whole, I support the movement, and I believe in it.   Some faction of society has criticized every great movement when it began. Think of the movement to end slavery, or the movement for women’s rights. This doesn’t mean that it will [Read More]

 
Traditional Ecological Knowledge – Using Traditional Food Production Methods to Minimize our Impact.

            Modern Western agricultural processes are generally not considered to be sustainable in the long run.  It’s only a matter of time before we exhaust the Earth’s finite resources and can no longer supply our population with the food it needs to survive.  There are many problems associated with modern Western methods, which include its reliance of fossil fuels, its inefficiency, its environmentally damaging nature, and many more.  On the other hand, traditional ecological knowledge is both locally specific, and holistic (Menzies et. al. 2006).  It [Read More]

 

The following is taken from a class discussion that was held by our Ecological Anthropology 360 class (the creators of this blog). We thought it important to have a group discussion about the Occupy Movement to get a sense of people’s thoughts, and share our ideas with each other. We had previously spent weeks researching what others thought and said about the movement and hadn’t had a chance to find out what our own thoughts were as a class.   We opened with a very general question:   Do you [Read More]

 
Occupy Suburbia (and the "American Dream")

At the time that I have posted this, the most commonly used tag in this blog has certainly been “food systems.” While it is important to recognize how conventional food production has altered the way that human societies have subsided on and related to their land, there is another major way in which humans interact with their landscapes.  We inhabit them.  Now, though it is no secret that the bursting of the housing bubble and the following waves of foreclosures was tightly linked to the same financial institutions which have [Read More]

 
American Ideological Narrative: A Graphic Model

The myth narrative that informs American society is “the American Dream.”  The Dream is essentially a belief that the United States of America is caste free and therefore anyone and everyone has the opportunity to succeed.  There is an emphasis that this success can be achieved independently through hard work and that success is in the form of material goods, landownership and social status.  The “rags to riches” theme is reiterated often in popular culture from Cinderella to the recent film Pursuit of Happyness.  The desire to achieve the Dream [Read More]

 

MA Guest Speaker from The University of British Columbia[1] The Occupy Wall Street Movement started on September 17th 2011 in New York City has spread across the continent, creating awareness as well as conflict in major cities across the US and Canada. The fallout from the movement has created many other Occupy Movements, such as the Occupy Canada Movement and the Occupy Vancouver movement in Vancouver, British Columbia. The movement focuses on protesting economic inequality as well as high rates of unemployment and corruption within major corporations. The movement especially [Read More]

 

  Guest Speaker:   [Answers from an executive in the Canadian financial industry]   The Occupy Wall Street Movement started on September 17th 2011 in New York City has spread across the continent, creating awareness as well as conflict in major cities across the US and Canada. The fallout from the movement has created many other Occupy Movements, such as the Occupy Canada Movement and the Occupy Vancouver movement in Vancouver, British Columbia. The movement focuses on protesting economic inequality as well as high rates of unemployment and corruption within [Read More]

 
Occupy Food Systems and Ecological Anthropology

Food is an essential part of life and a keystone in the foundation for most cultures.  Is it fair that people and businesses with vested interests are controlling how people feed themselves?  In the past, humans were more connected with their food supplies and production and there was significantly more transparency is all aspects of food security.  We have sped away from this way of living, driven by the euphoria of consuming with ease and efficiency and pulled further along by corporations focused on profits.  What consequences will this way [Read More]

 

By sociologist William Robinson, a good historically contextualizing piece on global elites and their reaction to change.

 
Monsanto, the corporation that never stops giving...

I bet you have all read this title and thought, “Monsanto, giving…???”. Well as a matter of fact they are giving. With their technological increases and crop revolutions they have founded some of the most ground breaking innovations. They have drastically increased food production, hoping to solve the world food crises through genetically modified crops (Forbes Magazine, January 2010). Some future innovations hope to include crops like genetically modified soy beans enriched with omega-3 fatty acids that help fight heart disease. For the article view: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0118/americas-best-company-10-gmos-dupont-planet-versus-monsanto.html These new crop innovations [Read More]

 

“I am Not Moving” is a short film that illustrates America’s support for free speech and peoples’ rights…unless it occurs on our own continent.     I find this video chilling. It brings to light the hypocrisy of the North American political system and exposes the government’s desire to act only when it benefits them. The politicians in the clip are describing movements around the world, in Libya, Egypt, Iran and other countries, where the people are protesting and demanding their universal rights. They advocate in support of these people [Read More]