Tatamagouche Summer Free School

Friday, August 18, 2006

Session: The Politics of Food

This summary by Lindsay MacDougall, who's in town from Toronto:

"Politics of Food"

Presenter: Pat Kerans

Pat is working on his 2nd book, and wanted to share and generate ideas about a food issues as a unified political strategy.


He discussed the 3 recent major focuses of the green movement:

1. climate change
2. peak oil
3. biotic concerns ie. endangered species, ecosystems etc.

The shortfall of environmental expert/scientific books have been that they emphasize change by focusing on consumption not production, and that they miss the importance of cultural and community change, reconstructing society etc.
Pat, having worked for many years in social work, politics, and on food issues with the national people's food commission, feels that FOOD issues and it's politics is the node at which so many environmental issues, communities and possibility for political action intersect and therefore where the most environmental and community change can happen.

The discussion diverged to the topics of deep/deliberate democracy to help restructure society to create the kind of change needed.


There are 2 kinds of knowing 1. scientific/academic/heroic/individualistic knowing, and 2. Coming to an understanding: which comes from community being willing to talk, listen, learn and willing to change their minds.

The second way of knowing will require the new "experts" to not be speaking from their ivory towers telling a community what they should do, but to help facilitate learning between communities.

Quotable: "Power is a learning disability."


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