The Food Education Circle convenes as a sociocratic coalition of like-minded persons and organizations of varying perspectives united in its charge to illuminate traditions of food handling; culinary interpretations, and to consider the future of food access, cultivation, education and sovereignty throughout the global diaspora as supported by the United Nations International Decade of People of African Descent.
In our efforts to develop as a functional resource our aim is multifaceted:
CELEBRATE: culinary contributions that People of African Descent have made to the world through our masterful curation of flavor profiles and recipes; in our sustaining cultivation of selected crops, and in the many ways we create ceremony around the food table.
DELIBERATE: with mindful intention the “food condition state of affairs” as it relates to real-time issues facing People of African Descent in connection with supply, access and quality.
ACTIVATE: and encourage strategic exchanges of information and grassroots communal developments that offer tangible solutions for People of African Descent to participate in the cultivation of their own food supply particularly in the face of climate change devastation and disruption.
EDUCATE: ourselves, our children, our families, our communities and the People of the World to traverse forward with sure-footed steps toward a more abundant and resilient future.
We convene to ask and answer these questions:
- What is the purpose of food? How has that purpose served us in the past; how is it serving us now and how will it serve us in the future?
- Are we consuming “real food” or just what’s available? How do we take ownership of the food that’s available and ensure that it is in fact “real” nutrient dense fuel for improved overall health?
- How much food are we wasting? Why? And how does an active composting mindset offset the cultivation of “real food” from food waste?
- What do our children know about where their food comes from; or how easy it is to grow food; or how to prepare food that retains healthy nutrient rich qualities? What are we doing to expose our children to the vast varieties of organic produce available in farmer’s markets?
- What food are we growing? What can we grow successfully in our given region (i.e. – seasonal produce, root vegetables, fruit trees, coffee, herbs and spices)? What should we be growing given the unpredictable advance of climate change?
- Who is manning the Land/Farm? How are we engaging a practice of active mentorship or the “passing down” of skill set traditions that avail quality agricultural production? Are we choose to grow nutrient dense over boutique (i.e. – yams over lettuce)?
- How are we distributing food that we grow? Do we care about the consumer of our food product? Who is the consumer of our food product? Are we, the growers, participating in emerging/trending market ideologies that support — “We’re not just selling food, we’re selling a “lifestyle product” (i.e.- organic food distinctions, more money equals better quality food, specialty/heirloom agro-varieties are for people with “elevated” tastes and income). Are we willing to challenge these ideas by bringing affordable quality food to market that is accessible to under-served populations (i.e.- food desert areas, land restrictive urban areas, lower income areas)?
- What tools do we need to offer a sustainable food future? How do we cultivate a food culture or landscape that will meet all of our needs and related core values as we look to celebrate, deliberate, activate and educate ourselves and the world in relationship with People of African Descent?