Oaxaca village photo

Mexico is home to a diverse and complex food heritage.

It is the center of domestication of many global staple crops (corn, cacao, tomatoes, avocados, to name a few) and also incorporates other staples from around the world (chicken, wheat, lime, bananas, etc.) into regional traditions, creating an intense diversity of dishes.

As everywhere else, what people eat represents a confluence of power, culture, technology, and taste that varies by region, social class, gender, race, etc.

Tortillas being cooked on an open fire

In this course, we will explore issues of social justice in Mexican society through these food traditions, focusing on the changing ways of production, distribution, and consumption of food. We will be using a political ecology approach that incorporates historical processes to illuminate contemporary issues. Much of the course will center on specific food items to illuminate these issues.

Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the human and ecological diversity of Oaxaca and Mexico
  • Analyze social and environmental justice as a shared process between several different actors with different agendas
  • Connect social differentiation such as gender, ethnicity, race, etc. to struggles for environmental justice
  • Connect local social struggles to broader global processes

Introduction to Food & Social Justice in Oaxaca