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Common Reading 2013

Discuss With Us

How Does Food Get to Your Table?

Allen’s book has an underlying thought of making the food supply chain more local and community driven than global and corporate driven. One of the main advancements in agriculture has been the advent of technology to improve production techniques in farms to make food production more efficient by increasing productivity and lowering costs. Allen’s farming techniques clearly goes the other way. Conduct some discussions on the following:

  1. What are your thoughts for this ‘local’ supply chain concept that Allen has promoted in the book?
  2. While the advantages of local farming are clearly outlined in the book, are there any disadvantages to local farming?

What are the Ethics of Food Production and Consumption?

Usually ethics of food are discussed in terms of dietarycontent—what should I or we eat or not eat? Allen's book places theprocessof food cultivation--how we grow, harvest, and distribute--front and center: can you think of ways that the two issues of consumption and production might be related from a moral viewpoint?

Your Growing Power-Tell Us About Your Gardening Experience

Many of us garden or grow food or flowers. Tell us about your gardening or growing experiences. You could tell us about your experiences in school or at home. What did you like to grow the most? What gardening techniques did you use that seemed to be the most productive? Did you use any innovative gardening techniques? Post a photo of your garden or of a garden that you like. Hofstra has beautiful grounds and is part of an arboretum that inspires all of us on campus. How do gardens or nature inspire you? If you have experience with farming, tell us about how your farm experiences differ from Will Allen's farm in Milwaukee.


Food Challenge: Who was W.E.B. DuBois and Did He Win?

In the The Good Food Revolution, Will Allen writes that W.E.B DuBois' ideas “won”. Allen seems to say that as a group (African Americans) and as a society (the U.S.) we have decided that education and professional advancement is important. This idea is what DuBois supported, while Booker T. Washington supported practical approaches--learning and continuing to work the land for food and sustenance.But currently our education priorities seem at odds with the ability to feed ourselves in a healthy way that also sustains the earth. Does this seem true across the board? Do you have examples of another experience? Were you taught about DuBois and Washington? Did one idea win out over the other?