The COVID19 pandemic changed how we eat, prepare, buy, sell, distribute and grow food. The pandemic impacted food systems and food culture as intensely as other realms of daily life: systemic problems were revealed, habitual behaviors were put on hold, and new patterns of consumption, distribution, and production developed with remarkable speed.
COVID FOODWAYS is an interdisciplinary investigation of food culture and food systems during the pandemic. It both analyzes the weaknesses and inequities revealed in our food systems and explores the creative resilience of consumers, producers, and distributors as we remake food culture in response to the pandemic.
Historically, radical changes in “foodways” are often poorly remembered, but they are opportunities for us to see the vulnerabilities in our food systems, to recognize resilient elements, and to develop creative responses. And so it seems crucial to try and capture in real time (or in recent memory) some of the crises and creativities of COVID foodways.
This project gathers stories of how we do food in the time of COVID. Each interview is available here in a chain of short clips, and these clips are also organized thematically. If you are interested in a particular narrative, you can follow that speaker across numerous topics based on their graphical icon. If you are interested in a particular topic, such as “recipes” or “resilience”, you can follow those keywords to hear more thoughts from various speakers.
The project is grounded in research that was initiated in collaboration with colleagues at the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability and the University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Studies. Thanks to Alejandra Gonzalez Soca, Alfredo Blum, Alvaro Adib, Lily Zander, Mariana Meerhoff, Matilda Baraibar, Mauricio Cheguem, Mica Trimble, Michelle Miller, Mrill Ingraham, Rafa Calderon, and all the people who share their thoughts on the pages that follow.