Name: Jennifer Yip
Home University: Hunter College
Summer Courses at DIS: Livability in a Modern City, Sustainable Food Systems: Ecology, Economy, and Ethics
For the last 3 weeks of my short time in Copenhagen I am taking a course named Sustainable Food Systems: Economy, Ecology and Ethics. Having lived in a mecca of great food culture in New York City, I have always been interested in learning more about food production, food origins and food justice. Many people who live in large urban centers are often disconnected from the many processes and systems surrounding food and only see the final plastic wrapped product in supermarkets. Taking this course was a chance for me to better understand the political, social and environmental implications of modern day food production. It’s been two weeks and I feel pretty enlightened.
One of our early field studies was comparing supermarkets in Copenhagen to ones we visit in the US. Grocery shopping at a Netto for the first time in Copenhagen was a very different experience but until my field study I couldn’t understand why. It wasn’t until I had analyzed every detail about supermarkets, their layouts and marketing strategies did I realize how American supermarket experiences were manufactured. It wasn’t until I shopped at three to four different Nettos, Irmas and Faktas that I realized the experience hasn’t been tailored for convenience. The experience isn’t actually tailored at all – which is why it made no sense to the American who is used to seeing magazines and candies near check-out and signs on top of aisles to point you to the right direction. Why on earth are bottles of Rosé and Pinot Grigio in a fridge on top of garlic, onions and peppers? It’s because unlike the US, the supermarket experience has not been driven towards maximum efficiency and productivity with minimal effort. It’s actually nice to scavenger hunt for Chardonnay once in a while and not find it in a liquor section but right next to a rosemary plant.
**Note: This post was written before week-long study tours during the Summer Session 2