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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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food

The Perfect French Baguette

Baguette2

While there are few symbols as quintessentially French as the baguette, its status – and quality – have been uncertain in recent years. Beginning in the 1950s, bakers began looking for shortcuts to make baguettes more quickly: relying on frozen, pre-made dough. ‘Those bakers at that time were happy,’ said Bouattour, as he led me past the fresh loaves at his Arlette & Colette in Paris’ 17th arrondissement. ‘But it killed our profession.’ In an attempt to save traditional French baguettes from widespread industrialisation, France passed Le Décret Pain (‘The Bread Decree’) in 1993, establishing that, by law, an authentic baguette de tradition must be made by hand, sold in the same place it’s baked and only made with water, wheat flour, yeast and salt.”  Source: BBC

Technological advancements and economic practices would have altered French baking practices, but to halt the change cultural purists took political steps to preserve the old cultural traditions.  The running of bakeries, and the winners of the prize for the best Parisian baguette have been bakers who come from immigrant families. Bakers with Middle Eastern, North African, and West African backgrounds are now key participants of shaping the most French of cultural goods.

Questions to Ponder: Why have bread-making practices become politicized in Paris?  How have immigrants changed French cultural practices?  How have French cultural practices changed immigrants?

GeoEd Tags: culture, food production, France, food, technology, migration, diffusion.

Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries

"Maybe it’s something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country."

Source: www.bloomberg.com

This data offers excellent insight into regional developmental patterns around the world–it is very much worth exploring.  However I’m sharing this also for it’s mapping project potential; the data behind this map is available in the article and students can make their own maps with it.  

 

GeoEd Tags: mortality, medical, development, food, mapping.

Scoop.it Tagsmortality, medicaldevelopmentfood, mapping.

 

Italy’s practically perfect food

"Pound for pound, Parmigiano-Reggiano can compete with almost any food for calcium, amino acids, protein and vitamin A – and is prescribed by doctors to cure ailments."

Source: www.bbc.com

While this article focuses often on the nutritional aspects of Parmigiano-Reggiano, I want people to notice the understated importance of place and the cultural ethos surrounding the production of this product. True, it is an economic industry for the region, but it is also a defining cultural characteristic of the place and a way of life. The place makes the product and the product makes the place. 

 

GeoEd Tags: culture, place, Italy, Europe, food, food production, agriculture.

Scoop.it Tags: culture, place, ItalyEurope, regions, foodfood production, agriculture.

Iqaluit’s population turns to Amazon Prime

Sky-high food prices in the North have led many residents of Iqaluit to turn to Amazon Prime to save on necessities. But is that a sustainable solution?

Source: globalnews.ca

Nunavut is remote…far more remote than most of our students can imagine.  They live over 1,000 miles from any city with half a million people.  The entire territory is enormous, but sparsely populated with only 36,000 people.  Try to image getting commercial goods to such a remote location.  The Canadian government has invested heavily to subsidize systems to get food products and other necessities to Nunavut.  Still, the transportation costs are so high, and the numbers are so few that economies of scale can’t help this situation. 

Enter Amazon Prime in 2005, and the online retail giant began offering free shipping for “Prime” customers for a flat yearly subscription fee (today $99 in the U.S.).  This was simply too good to be true for many customers in far-flung settlements in Nunavut.  Amazon, probably not anticipating the overwhelming transportation costs associated with a place like Nunavut, in 2015 stopped offering Prime membership for Nunavut customers that do not live in the capital city of Iqaluit.  Still, the capital city looks to Amazon Prime more so than the Canadian or territorial government as their lifeline to the global economy.  Some even argue that Amazon Prime has done more to improve the standard of living  and providing food security for Nunavut residents than the government.            

Scoop.it TagsCanada, distanceindigenous, poverty, development, economicfood, food distribution, density.

WordPress TAGS: Canada, distance, indigenous, poverty, development, economic, food distribution, density.

Here’s What Your Part Of America Eats On Thanksgiving

"Every region enjoys pumpkin pie. But beyond that, there are three Americas: The America that disproportionately has apple pie (New England and the Middle Atlantic), the America that has pecan pie and sweet potato pie (the assorted South), and the America that consumes cherry pie (the Midwest and West)."

Source: fivethirtyeight.com

In addition to this list of distinctive Thanksgiving recipes from each state (I’d love to try so many on this list), the NY Times has also produced this list of the most ‘Googled’ Thanksgiving recipes in each state.  This StoryMap from ESRI is my favorite map of food production, showing where the food on the thanksgiving dinner plate actually came from.  These are very late additions to my favorite Thanksgiving day resources. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and may yours reflect some some regional distinctiveness and cultural context that you appreciate.   

GeoEd Tags: food, food distribution, food production, agriculture.

Scoop.it Tags: foodfood production, agriculture.

The Root Causes of Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world’s no.1 health risk.

Source: www.youtube.com

This video is an excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO’s are trying to combat the issues. This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it’s heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics.

 

Scoop.it Tags: food, poverty, economic, political, food desert, agriculture, food production.

WordPress TAGS: food, poverty, economic, Political, food desert, agriculture, food production.

Identifying Illegal Overfishing

"The vast majority of fishing vessels follow the rules governing fishing – but many are not, and these bad actors can cause a lot of damage. Vessels may take too many fish ­– overfishing – which is causing our fisheries to collapse. Then there is the problem of illegal fishing, which can occur in protected areas, in another country’s waters or on the high seas. This threatens jobs and food security for millions of people, all around the world.

The trouble is, so much of this illegal activity is hidden – it happens out to sea, making it difficult to scrutinize what individual vessels are getting up to. Fortunately, we are now beginning to see what happens after commercial fishing vessels leave port.

The interactive map we created allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to see the activities of the commercial fishing fleet globally."

 

Scoop.it Tags: water, conservation, biogeography, environmentpollution, resourcesmappingfood production, agriculture.

WordPress TAGS: water, biogeography, environment, pollution, resources, mapping, food production, agriculture.

Source: www.bbc.com

What Anthony Bourdain Understood About Cities

The work of the acclaimed chef and writer, who has died at 61, provides a model for a truly inclusive urbanism based on the creativity of all human beings.

Source: www.citylab.com

At the APHG reading last week, it felt as if everyone was in shock and mourning Anthony Bourdain’s passing.  I felt so amazingly thick, but I was dying to ask "who?"  Judging by everyone’s reaction, I think I’m the only geographer who has never watched any of his shows and was feeling the shame.  I quickly checked out Parts Unknown (on Netflix) and the appeal of his work was immediately evident; it is more about place than it is strictly about the food.  Food is simply his portal into understanding the people, culture, and politics of a given place.  Some say that his approach brings an anti-colonial flair to urbanism and travel, but as I’m a newbie to his work, I’m just going to start appreciating it now as we mourn his loss.

 

Tags: cultureworldwide, diffusion, urban, urbanism, place, food,

 colonialismvideo, media

 

 

At Seattle Mariners games, grasshoppers are a favorite snack

“Chapulines [grasshoppers] have become a snack favorite among baseball fans in Seattle. Follow their path from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Safeco Field. To many, the insect might be a novelty – a quirky highlight for an Instagram story from a day at the ballpark. To those in Mexico consuming them for centuries, they are a building block of nutrition.”

Source: www.espn.com

Eating insects is incredibly nutritious; raising them is cost effective and environmentally sustainable. And yet, the cultural taboos against entomophagy in the West are barriers to the cultural diffusion of the practice.  At some baseball games and high-end restaurants, grasshoppers are sold as a novelty item.  What I especially enjoy about this ESPN article is that it covers the cultural production of the chapulines in Mexico and follows the story to the consumption of the grasshoppers in the United States.  

 

Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, foodMexico, economic, agriculture.

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