This page was created by Maria Frank.  The last update was by Food and Society Workshop.

Field Guides to Food

Field Guides to Food

The Field Guides to Food site is a hub in a network of knowledge-sharing projects designed to support learning about food movement actions: we explore why people take action to support and transform parts of the food system, and we share what we learn.

How to use the Food Field Guides:

“Field Guides” offer guidance for exploration. The stories and artifacts shared (in "paths") in this collection have been put together by people who use the site and who felt that things they were doing or learning about food were worth sharing. As you explore these stories, we hope that you will also want to share stories, questions, or connections.

The pages are designed to support learning, exploration, and sharing, by encouraging all users to:

For more about the why and how of this project, please see our manifesto and user guide.

For the draft Ramsey Report (once approved, we'll make a path for it!), see this REPORT link, and see this link for the accompanying Urban Food Cultivation Glossary zine.

Good paths for beginners include:

  1. The Art of Food in Frogtown and Rondo, community storytelling toward a cookbook project of recipes for organizing communities
  2. The Real Food Challenge project in Minnesota, highlighting the Uncomfortable Dinner Parties
  3. Frame-a-Farmer Photobooth, with tie-ins to the team's agroecology studies, and building on the Food Justice module built for public education at the Common Table exhibit of the Minnesota State Fair
  4. How to Make Food Good, story collections from SE and SW Minnesota, as well as the University of Minnesota, the basis for the Eating Together Podcast series 

Note: if you are an editor and add anything to Scalar, please note it on the "Scalar central tracking" of the Details spreadsheet.

What food knowledge would you want to share with others? And how could you invite others to understand why it’s worth knowing particular things about food? Why should someone else pay attention to what you think is important about food? The Food and Society Workshop’s Food Field Guides project is an exploratory set of user-developed field guides where we can share tools to tell stories we think are important about food—particularly about what we think makes food good—and to support continued collaborative action to make food good. Recognizing that there are many ways to value what is good in food, we have build in-person and online project spaces where we work together to build tools to explore food stories and relationships


Our philosophy of working together rests on the principles that our collaborative processes should:

i) engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge;

ii) address conflicts between perspectives; and

iii) translate productively between diverse perspectives. 

These translate into principles (with accompanying evaluative questions used in our ongoing process, and explained further on the manifesto page) to ask about our process as we go along:

1. All people should have the chance to explore, shape, and tell their own stories.

2. People should be able to learn from each other, and negotiate and tell stories in relationship, in order to figure out how to modify and support practices that improve our conditions.

3. Our explanations should relate our experiences to our social and environmental relationships, recognizing that different relationships will shape different environments and perspectives, and that part of the work of our stories is translating between these.