Food Literacy and Adult Education: Learning to Read the World by Eating
Keywords:food literacy, global corporate food system, adult education, Paulo Freire, Jurgen Habermas
While literacy is central to the field of adult education, food literacy is just emerging as a crucial concept. Backed by the recognition that we all eat, food literacy is gaining traction in an era of rising crises associated with food, from increasing world hunger to the so-called obesity epidemic. But current understandings of food literacy are inadequate for dealing with the crises we must learn our way out of – most definitions are apolitical, blame the victim and do not consider the larger context, thus constraining the ‘politics of the possible’. And yet, as a knowledge-based concept, food literacy has the potential to play a powerful role in adult learning and social change. By calling on Habermas’ three knowledge domains and keeping in mind Freire’s insight that all education is political, a new understanding of food literacy emerges that is capable of analyzing current foodscapes and modelling sustainable alternatives.
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