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Food Systems 101 is Studio ATAO's first full curriculum examining the connection between the systems of food and beverage in the United States explicitly through a social justice lens. This curriculum offers those working within the food, beverage, and hospitality community an accessible, yet comprehensive, understanding of the inherent politics of the systems that affect them every day.
WHY THIS CURRICULUM?
More than 19 million people work within the U.S. food system, encompassing everything from agricultural production to branded spirits, food magazines to bars. However, there remains a critical gap in who receives formal food education. While some higher education institutions increasingly cover food systems and their history, the existing resources are traditionally academic, often containing gaps and lacking cultural relevance and accessibility to the majority of individuals working within the system itself. Food and beverage education, if/when discussed in school systems, focuses largely on access and ‘healthy eating,’ both of which are important themes but not thoroughly explored within the larger context of social justice.
We believe that food is inherently political in every way. That is, it informs the traditional structures which govern our society and ultimately, how we relate to one another. Food and drink have always served as a mechanism for control. Thus, when confronting the repercussions of the U.S. food system, it is critical to probe deeper into the power, privilege, and decision-making processes underpinning the industry as we know it.
WHO IS THIS CURRICULUM FOR?
We aim to design a curriculum with content that centers the lived experience and points of view of those who have historically been exploited and overlooked when food systems are covered and discussed. This also applies to how the curriculum will be designed: given that many folks within food, beverage, and hospitality do not work in front of a computer, this curriculum will be offered in both English and Spanish, and offer both desktop and mobile versions. No former academic knowledge of food systems is required to participate. Once complete, the curriculum will be made available for purchase on a sliding scale, with free or subsidized access for those holding marginalized identities.
The 101 curriculum will be composed of 8 Modules, starting with a Food History Timeline and Vocabulary, followed by six Core Modules. Each of these six Core Modules will be explored as a cyclical loop, feeding into and building from one another, arriving at the state of food and beverage today.
Each of the six Core Modules explored in the 101 curriculum will be further explained in the 102 curriculum, launching throughout 2023. Throughout each Core Module, there will be particular attention paid to how Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant contributions have shaped the U.S.
Read more about the curriculum on our landing page here.
Studio ATAO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our EIN is 82-2171680.
For gift opportunities and fundraising-specific questions, please contact Sarah Perlmeter at [email protected]