All posts filed under: English

Decolonizing the Caribbean Diet: Two Perspectives on Possibilities and Challenges

You can read the full article here. This piece was published in a special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development titled Indigineous Food Sovereingty in North America. Vol 9 NO B (2019). I acknowledge Vanessa García Polanco for being a great mentor and inviting me to contribute this piece she conceptualized. Abstract: We wonder if food and agriculture will be an emer­gent theme in reclaiming the Taíno identity, the Indigenous people of the Caribbean. As we con­sider the emergent movement to decolonize our diets and utilize food as medicine alongside veganism and vegetarianism trends, we wonder how and if food, foodways, and agriculture are or will be tools to decolonize and reclaim the Taíno identity. In this paper, we will explore two perspectives on the possible opportunities and challenges of such movements and how they will look in the Caribbean and its diaspora. Picture: El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico was considered a sacred place by the Taíno people. The photo was taken by Luis Alexis Rodríguez Cruz (2017)

Being Idle is not an Option: Reconciling my Academic and Political Duties

This is the original version of my Working Life Essay published on Science on August 29, 2019. Click here to read the published version. It was Wednesday, July 17th, and I was alone in my room, in front of my computer with four windows open on the screen. Thousands of Puerto Ricans were marching to Old San Juan that day, demanding governor Rosselló to resign. The leak of the egregious chats between him and his colleagues was the catalyst that motivated people to take their bodies to the streets. Beyond dehumanizing comments, the governor used the chat for political means, a potentially illegal action. Furthermore, and worse, in my opinion, they sneered on those who died because of Hurricane Maria. I stayed up late every night following what was happening. I wanted to talk with all my friends that were marching; with one dear friend of mine who suffered police violence during these protests. Day after day, I was following the news from the time that I woke up; feelings of anger and angst in …

From Ocean to Table: Integrating Marine and Coastal Food Systems into Food Studies

This paper was published in a special edited collection, Cite This, of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies. Click here to read the full paper. It is common to hear and read the phrases “farm to table” or “farm to plate” in food systems discussions and scholarship. Less common, is to encounter “ocean to table” or “ocean to plate.” As scholars, we are aware of the issues that farmers and farmworkers face, but it seems that we often fail to acknowledge coastal and marine food systems’ issues. Why? It could be that those systems seem distant to most of us. Even in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island and U.S. territory, most scholarship focused on food systems ignores the issues that coastal communities face, especially fisherfolks. Today, given the implications of climate change on coastal areas as well as marine deterioration, researchers and stakeholders are starting to give more attention to coastal communities and marine ecosystems. If researchers and stakeholders want to get involved with fisherfolks to develop solutions for the problems that they face, it is imperative to understand the dynamics …

On Not Suffering (Much) in a PhD

Oprime aquí para leer la versión en español   Sol Fantin, Argentinian poet, writes that the problem of time is not that it’s short, but swift. My friends know that I mention that verse all the time. Last August 28, 2018, was my anniversary as a PhD student at the University of Vermont. My intention for doing a PhD stills the same: to become an independent researcher. We must remember that to have a PhD is just that: to have a PhD. So, what do we want to do with that degree? Why we need it? It’s very important to answer those questions before embarking on such a mission. I started my PhD in food systems at UVM very excited, but it hasn’t all been very beautiful.