Friday, January 28, 2011

The Pickle Project

I just learned about a unique food, agriculture, and culture project spearheaded by two Fulbright Research Fellows, Sarah Crow and Linda Norris. Both had the opportunity to live in Ukraine, a fascinating country with long standing food and agricultural traditions. Building upon their experiences, Sarah and Linda have developed the Pickle Project, a multifaceted effort that observes the Ukrainian food system and uses it "as a lens for exploring sustainability, community and change."
This is how they describe their work:
The recent designation of several foods and food practices by UNESCO as “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” illustrates a growing recognition of the importance of food and food systems. For food is not merely a commodity but also a symbol of identity and a direct reflection of the human condition and our natural environment. As noted food scholar Marion Nestle suggests, food makes abstractions real and the political personal (2009). This arena of research is underdeveloped in Ukraine, a nation, landscape and culture with an intimate and rich history related to food production, scarcity, diversity and identity.
The Pickle Project ventures to illuminate those connections in contemporary Ukraine, through personal stories, profiles and recipes, and share them with diverse audiences using multiple vehicles. These include social media, The Pickle Project blog, Twitter (you can follow us @PickleProject) and Facebook networks but also through the development of innovative traveling exhibitions and programs, that would tour the United States and Ukraine. This suite of methods is designed to stimulate community conversations about the interesting and increasingly relevant issues of food, culture and sustainability.
My husband and fellow Ag Law blogger, Christopher Kelley, was a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine five years ago, and his experiences there led to rich connections with this fascinating country and its wonderful people.  From my visits and the Ukrainians that are our friends, I can attest to the intimate connections and the deep culture and tradition associated with Ukrainian food.  Sarah and Linda may really be on to something here - particularly, as Ukraine's rich agricultural land comes under increased pressure for foreign control.

In addition to following the links above, check out their Kickstarter page. They are raising funds for the project and are close to their goal - although they have a February 1 deadline.


Anonymous Tammy said...

This shows that food is very important in our life. We should be aware what are the major components. What a great insights on your article.

12/22/2011 9:19 AM  

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