I started my Masters in food at NYU in late 2015 to make my life easier. With a background in digital media production, I wanted an expertise in something more than speaking to people. I love that food studies is an amazingly expansive field still figuring out where it's heading. What an amazing opportunity to contribute to something that matters worldwide!
But UGH! The more I learn the more conflicted I become. This field is so much broader than I originally anticipated and this further fuels my lack of focus. I often feel like I'm slopping through mud, picking up more and more every time I move with my legs get heavier and heavier. How in the world can we make this sense of a system that is so expansive, yet so broken and think we will fix this massive problem in a reasonable amount of time to see the results?
Right now, I'm training for two half marathons (yes, I've accepted I jumped on the crazy train- it happened a long time ago). On my training runs, I feel my brain unleash as thoughts come and go. In these moments, I have one mission: run x amount of miles for the day. And little by little, I get strong enough to run more. This is the game we have to play with the food system.
If we want to make meaningful change, we have to play the long game- in this case probably the multiple century game. We won't fix it all at once, but we may start chipping away at the problem little by little. These small interventions can be the baby steps that will lead to running the ultimate marathon for a flawless food system. But we have to seek the patience and do manageable tasks right now.
The best part? Everything is connected. If we have one successful run in eradicating obesity, we will also put a dent in improving food access to low income areas. Same goes for improving our soil, feeding our furry friends their heritage food, and promising clean water for all.
I may get discouraged, but I'm an eternal optimist. Looking to the sun is far more fun. So let's find the patience to embrace making small changes because little by little we can change the world.