Join The Historical Cooking Project's editor, Alex Ketchum, during the month of May at the exciting Digital- Carbon Neutral Conference, "Climate Change: Views from the Humanities." It is free to participate and there are wonderful talks. Here is the link to the panel that Alex is participating on, "Justice, Injustice, and Activism," alongside legal scholar, Tamara L. Slater.
Valuing Histories of Activism:Empowering Us in the Battle Against Climate Change
Food production and consumption are prominent fronts of the climate change battle. Debates over who is responsible for North American eating habits and their social and environmental impact are not new. My research on feminist food activists in the United States and Canada shows that these discussions happened in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Looking at the solutions proposed by these different feminist groups during that period provides valuable insight into how to remedy North America’s current food and environmental health issues while already taking gendered dynamics into account. With the exception of Warren Belasco’s Appetite for Change (1989), academics have largely ignored how some feminists during the period focused on the labor issues surrounding cooking, while being fully aware of the importance of food and cooking for health and environmental reasons.
My research shows the importance of looking at the history of past environmental movements for wisdom on how to fix our current dilemma of climate change. Past generations of activists proffered valuable solutions that although sometimes ignored by their contemporaries can inform current conversations about environmentalism. Valuing histories of activism empowers us in the battle against climate change. My paper uses the specific example of feminist food activists to provide a framework of how history is a valuable field in our current struggle against environmental degradation.