Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Science, Education & SES: Food-justice

Education is a tool for social justice. What education aims to do is:
1. Help people learn about the world and how it works, and
2. Help people learn about themselves, how they learn, and what they care about.

Education provides the foundation necessary to help people make informed decisions and choices. What people learn should ideally help them make 'better' decisions to improve their lives and their communities. And whether one agrees or not, making an informed decision is a political act. The choices one makes over a lifetime (or at any given time) can mean a choice for life or death, to protect rights or deny rights, or for health or sickness. Informed decision making means balancing the costs and benefits of a decision over the short and long-term payouts.

In fact, education is the seed and fertilizer of Democracy. Democratic rule only truly is democratic when the citizenry is educated. That is, the people know what is right and appropriate. They know how to identify when and how something may go (or may have gone) awry. And most importantly, they know how and are prepared to take corrective actions. These are all natural outcomes of informed decision making and social justice.

Poor education (whether formal or informal and in any and all subjects) makes people vulnerable. Vulnerable to people or institutions who would take advantage of them or who would deny them opportunities or to those who would do them harm. Poor education and lack of understanding is the root cause of injustice, inequality, discrimination, alienation, and poverty AND all of the symptomatic ills of each of these societal diseases. It is in this light that I highlight an article about Bryant Terry - A food-justice activist. He promotes health and nutrition education (and the science of and related to agriculture and health) to help address poverty issues. In doing so helps disadvantaged citizens from lower socio-economic classes.

Kudos to Bryant Terry!

No comments: