In November of 2013, I was given the opportunity to deliver a talk on something that is very important to me. I spoke at the TEDx Terry Talks event at UBC about a course that I have been developing on Food Literacy. This was also the first time that I publicly admitted to dropping out of high school many years ago. It has been an important step in my journey towards becoming a secondary school Home Economics and Social Studies teacher. Here’s the talk.
In October 2013, the Conference Board of Canada released a report titled: “What’s To Eat? Improving Food Literacy in Canada.” Please checkout the report CBofC Food Literacy. This is another testament that Food Literacy as a term is becoming more popularized, giving that much more evidence to the importance of this work. One thing I have noticed is that terminology has a complex relationship with research and initiatives. As mentioned previously, the adoption of Food Literacy as a title for my initial course was tied to Media Literacy, and its utilization of a critical thinking lens. As I navigate through research, and keep a keen eye on developments throughout the academic and food studies communities, I am aware of a distinct difference between Food Literacy representing having knowledge about food, and Food Literacy representing the aforementioned, plus having knowledge about the innumerable complex topics associated with food.
On December 16th, I was accompanied by students from Take A Hike to air on FoodLine Radio (a new show on Vancouver Cooperative Radio CRFO 100.5 FM). The topic was Food Literacy, but we mostly delved into the subject of using food as an engagement agent at Take A Hike, most specifically, the Adventure Based Cooking course. Please checkout this site to listen in!
On November 20th, I was finally in a place that I have dreamed of being for over a year now … Vij’s Kitchen in the Food, Nutrition, and Health building on UBC Campus! I facilitated two hands-on cooking workshops to a select group of UBC students. This was part of the Learning Community Series, and the topic was “Appetite For Change: Understanding Community Meal Programs in BC Schools.” I mainly focused on Vancouver and British Columbia, but our discussion spanned to other regions. Overall, the turnout and level of engagement was outstanding. Students prepared the following: Bliss Balls, Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies, Kale Chips, Quinoa Salad, Hummus, and Guacamole. Please checkout the slideshow presentation CCEL Workshop PPT.
In early November I was given the special opportunity to give a TEDx talk at UBC as part of the Terry Project. The process of rehearsing and delivering this talk allowed me to connect with others, to truly examine the current and future state of Food Literacy, and most of all, to overcome my nervousness of speaking in front of an audience. The video has not yet been uploaded, but sometime in the New Year you will be able to find it here.
In attending my first THESA Conference in Port Coquitlam on October 25th, I was thrilled to be amongst a few hundred Home Economics teachers and teacher candidates. We have at UBC this year a class of 26 Home Economics teacher candidates, and an astonishing 22 of us attending the conference.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to facilitate a workshop titled “Food Literacy: What Is It, Where Is It Heading, and How Can We Start Leading It?.” Please message me if you would like to see a copy of the slide show from the presentation. We had more than a dozen participants, and the level of discussion and spontaneous cooking was over-the-top!