Tahsha LePageMy interest in food is a juxtaposition of my rural upbringing and my current urban lifestyle. I grew up in a very small, rural Wisconsin town with a significant amount of family farms and a substantial Mennonite population. Vegetable stands were quite common and there was a weekly food auction where farmers could bring produce to sell throughout harvest season. My family did not own a farm, but we did have a garden and did some canning of vegetables. Taking these food ways for granted, I always felt like a city girl trapped in the country and desired an urban lifestyle.
I moved to Minneapolis to finish my Bachelors Degree in Global Studies. My original study was focused on international development and human rights, but my interests seemed to gravitate towards environment and the food system. I followed my instinct and declared my major in the environment and sustainable development theme. I fell in love with the culture of city life and of course the food! I loved the amount and variety of restaurants as well as the local food system, nearby co-ops and farmer's markets. The city offered me the opportunity to release my inner food adventurer (happy hour specials made it easier on the college budget too!).
I have experienced a variety of places within the food system including volunteering on the student organic farm, creating the West Bank Community Garden with my student group on campus, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, a job as a waitress,preparing family meals, interning at the Mill City Farmer's Market and, of course, a CONSUMER OF FOOD AND FOOD SERVICES!
I have a strong interest in food labor, small agriculture, urban gardening, local food, food access and food culture. The food system is connected in so many ways, it is hard to focus an interest on one particular area. I hope to create a dialogue on this interdisciplinary nature of the food system and hope to provoke critical thought about our everyday food ways.