I am so grateful for the opportunity to have taken this course. Some the information I had some previous knowledge of, such as some of the politics behind the world trade and how corn, soy and wheat dominated our grocery stores, but much of the information was new. I was challenged in my thinking in some modules, but in other areas my beliefs were validated. I am especially grateful to have learned about the author Michael Pollan. I have gone on to listen to about three of his audiobooks since week one and learned so much additional information.* I have always had an interest in nutrition and food, but this course has informed me about what is beneath the surface. It has been one of the catalysts to changing my ideas that vegan is the most healthful lifestyle.
My concern for the stability of food has grown. In the past, I knew there were people going hungry, but I had always been too caught up in my own life to think about the ramifications of food security as a global issue. This course introduced and delved deeper into the problem of hunger on a systemic and global level with information of food waste and food aid which I hadn’t known the nuances of. During my upcoming gap year, I will try to make a difference in the city I’m living in now, Amsterdam. I will see how I can get involved to catalyze systemic change, because as much as I do on my own, it is not enough to make an impact on a global level, changes have to be made on a larger scale.
On another note, the biggest “aha” moment this quarter revolved around the discussions about the “downsides” of what I used to see as infallible movement, specifically the vegan movement. It challenged my thinking see the some of the counter ideas, alternatives and downfalls of being fully plant-based. I appreciated Pollan’s work in this regard, as well as many articles we read throughout the quarter. While I still think a plant-based lifestyle it is great, I now understand that there are alternatives and I am open to exploring them.
In all, I so appreciate the chance to have taken this course and studied this information, it has most definitely left a lasting impact on my actions, my thoughts and my outlook on the world food system.
*If you live in Seattle and have a library card, download the Overdrive app and you can listen or read them too!