“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied…it is all one,” wrote M.F.K. Fisher in The Art of Eating.
We all love food, but wow – M.F.K. Fisher really loved food. Her writing dwells heavily on its nurturing power, its ability to heal, sustain, and unite – physically and spiritually. During the 1930s, when Fisher began writing, the food justice movement was almost nonexistent. Today, food justice, a variety of initiatives that aim to increase access to nutritious and sustainable food, is thriving. If you share Fisher’s passion, there are so many paths to make a career out of food – beyond the kitchen.
“Okay, great. So…what are some these paths you speak of?”
Here are just a few organizations that are putting passion and idealism to work by promoting access to nutritious and sustainable food:
FoodCorps is an organization that places corps members with partner organizations in high-need communities for a year of service. FoodCorps has sites all over the country, from Connecticut to Montana to Oregon. FoodCorps members implement nutrition education, engage kids and volunteers in school and community gardens, and help maintain farm-to-cafeteria partnerships that support local agriculture. For more information, and to apply, visit www.foodcorps.org.
Similarly, The Food Project, based in Massachusetts, offers educational, service learning, and leadership development programs to youth based around food and farming. To learn more about working and volunteering at The Food Project, click here.
Several notable organizations in New England are approaching food justice from a different angle. Sustainable food consulting organizations, including Sustainable Food Systems (Wallingford, CT) and The Abbey Group (Enosburg Falls, VT) work with schools and food service companies and other institutions to better their food. Red Tomato (Plainville, MA) works with local farmers to bring sustainable produce to local grocery stores. In our own backyard here in Vermont is Shelburne Farms, with nationally-recognized farm-based environmental education programs.
“Great, those sound right up my alley. Any ideas where I can search for even more food-related jobs?”
Check out Good Food Jobs, a national gastro-job search tool designed to link people looking for meaningful food work with the businesses that need their energy, enthusiasm, and intellect. MOJO and LACN, of course, continue to be great job search resources; currently, there are over 40 food-related jobs listed in LACN and more rolling in each week. (MOJO and LACN are updated daily, so don’t forget to check back often.)
Hmm . . . I’m super interested in all these issues and food-related careers you’re talking about, but I’ve never really had any hands-on experience with food justice.
Even if you’re in your final semester here at Midd, it’s never too late to get involved in food initiatives on campus to supplement your job search and your awareness of food issues. From NOM to Eat Real to Weybridge House, food-focused student organizations are alive and well on campus.
Got any suggestions to supplement my knowledge during my job search? Maybe like some blogs or something not-too-heavy that I can read over breakfast?
GOOD and Grist‘s food sections are pretty great. Career Services’ Associate Director and Careers in the Common Good‘s Tracy Himmel-Isham suggests, “For an in-depth review of the issues around our food system, both good and bad, read Civil Eats, which promotes critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems as part of building economically and socially just communities.”
Image source: http://publicservice.berkeley.edu/sites/campuslife.berkeley.edu/files/foodgracehearth.jpg