Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Decolonizing University Food Courts: Towards Another Way of Learning

As a university student I took up arms against capitalism on my campus (Cal Poly Pomona). My preferred choice of weapon--my word. The battleground: “Pizza with the Presidents”, a quarterly facade designed to make students think our voices are being heard. I fired the first shot aimed at the university administration, “how is it that our campus sits on very fertile land, agricultural space, yet there are no organic/healthy food alternatives available to us? How can I as a student have access to work this land and grow natural vegetables and fruits that can be prepared and served on campus and made available to the surrounding community?” The university president, Dr. Ortiz, and his administrators could not provide me with an answer. So I began networking with other students who were asking the same questions. This is when I realized that my activism was to be dedicated to defending the land- finding land, and planting seeds.

If we take a look at university food courts we can see the local impact of the globalization of food, taste and disease. Mega food corporations contribute to global capitalism by spreading culinary imperialism on our campuses across the United States. What is culinary imperialism? It is the imposition of European food ways, heavily meat based, processed, and high in sodium and sugar—Mother Earth destroying food ways.