Food Action Hub

why does the way we talk about food matter?

Arista here (they/she) – Food Matters Manitoba’s Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator.

I wanted to take a minute here to talk about our latest workshop – ‘let’s talk about food’:

This 60minute, harm-reduction-oriented workshop is designed to support and encourage participants in thinking critically about the way they talk about food; whether in our everyday lives, or our work, we are all communicating all sorts of things.

let’s talk about food‘ creates a supportive, curious, and engaging space wherein all people can reconsider the language and commentary they use in their conversations around food.

the way we talk about food conveys beliefs and values – not only about food, but also about bodies, race, ability, class (and so much more)

‘let’s talk about food’ wants to ensure that we are deliberate and mindful about the way we talk about food, and that we are cautious the beliefs and values we convey are our own. Media, peers, ‘experts’, and family expose us all to all sorts of harmful ideas about bodies, race, ability, and class and so often, we are unaware that these harmful ideas are being expressed in the ways we talk about food.

but uh… what does this have to do with food security?

  • We create and maintain spaces that are harmful and unsafe to marginalized communities and individuals, when we fail to be deliberate and ensure the way we talk about food reflects our true values.
  • We (often unintentionally) reinforce harmful and untrue ideas about people, bodies, and cultures.
  • We cannot create meaningful food security initiatives that include all people made food insecure, if the way that we think and talk about food is alienating and conveys to marginalized people that they are not welcome, that their needs are not being considered, and that they are not valued.
  • Many of these harmful ideas rely on inaccurate assumptions that get in the way of being respectfully curious, and expanding our understanding of what food security might mean or look like for someone who is not like us. This limits the scope of all subsequent food security endeavours.


it’s our hope that together, we can have a different kind of conversation about food!

(and open the doors to more meaningful work around food security!)

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