By Sofia Salazar-Rubio, Movements Editor
Countless variations of the empanada, a savory stuffed bread pastry, can be found across the world, but perhaps no region has the diversity of Latin America. A remnant of Spanish colonization (and derivative of the Indian samosa, which came to Spain via the Moors), practically every Latin American country has it’s own take on this pocket pastry. While the character of the dough and contents may vary, basic empanada anatomy remains the same: delicious filling enrobed in bread—the Spanish word empanar literally means, “to wrap in bread.”
In Bolivia, the regional empanadas are known as salteñas, a generally forgotten reference to Salta-born Argentine Juana Manuela Gorriti. Gorriti, a feminist and journalist, is credited with originating the recipe while exiled in Tarija, Bolivia (though some question the veracity of this folk history). Children would commonly say, “Ve y recoge una empanada de la salteña” (“Go pick up an empanada from the woman from Salta”), and the salteña nickname stuck.
By Alexandra Buck Toledo, March 2013 Boliva Tour Participant
Originally published on Justice Unbound
I am in a farming community on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The table is set and the steam from the hot food rises into the heavens. We take a moment to thank all those people who contributed their effort, sweat, work, and care to prepare this food that we are about to eat. A sacred moment.
I can feel the quality of the food and the intense flavor that was transferred through its connection to the earth. How delicious it is to eat fresh food, with no processing! A boiled potato, recently taken from the earth, peeling back its skin and seeing underneath the variety of colors, gifted from the Pachamama—Mother Earth. And even better than that: the farmers themselves are proud of their harvest and the possibility to share it with us. Absolutely sacred moments.
All of this took place in March when I traveled to Bolivia with a Food Sovereignty delegation coordinated by the U.S. organization Food First. It formed part of my research of looking at world food systems from a political, economic, social and—for the first time here—spiritual perspective. I begin this reflection with a geographic image of the global food system and continue with an introduction—both political and spiritual – to the concept of food sovereignty, concluding with an examination of the connection between food sovereignty and eco-justice.
By Christine Ahn, Former Food First Policy Analyst, and Anders Riel Muller, South Korea Tour Coordinator and Food First Fellow
The bustling, fast-paced, wired metropolis city of Seoul is what most people know of South Korea. Now the fifteenth largest economy in the world, South Korea’s economy is driven by the exports sector controlled by corporations like Samsung, Hyundai, LG and Daewoo. These chaebols have significant global market share: 37 percent in LCD TVs, 33 percent in hand-held phones and 9 percent in automobiles. The term “chaebol nation” aptly describes South Korea’s economy: the top 30 chaebols account for 82 percent of the country’s exports.
It’s hard to imagine that just two generations ago, farming fueled the nation’s economy. In the 1970s, farmers accounted for half the population; today, they represent only 6.2 percent. South Korea’s rapid transformation from an agrarian economy to a highly industrialized one wasn’t accidental; it was the outcome of the central government’s development and trade liberalization policies that in the early 1980s began to see farming as part of Korea’s past, not its future.
Food Sovereignty Tours celebrates first fundraiser dinner with members of EHNE-Bizkaia to benefit Scholarship Program
By Katie Brimm, Program Coordinator of Food Sovereignty Tours
On September 28, Food Sovereignty Tours hosted it’s first ever fundraiser dinner to raise money for our Scholarship Program. The night was also in celebration of an incredible week hosting our partners from the Basque Farmers’ Union in the Bay Area.
With the warm air of an impending storm, our guests slowly arrived to Skyhorse Ranch and the thankfully clear skies of Sonoma County. The night unfolded with presentations from Food First, the premiere of the Food Sovereignty Tours short video, and amazing reflections from our special guests and international partners, members of EHNE-Bizkaia, the Basque
Farmers’ Union. Against the backdrop of a backlit Euskal Herria flag, members of the farmers’ union shared their impressions from the past week learning about U.S. food justice, and shared with us news of the inspiring movements in their home country. As the night proceeded with lively conversation, we enjoyed a delicious three-course meal complete with local oysters and Sonoma county wine.
By Kandace Vallejo, April 2013 Bolivia Tour Participant, IATP Food and Community Fellow
Originally published in Edible Austin
As we approached our seats, a table with a small mountain of dried coca leaves atop a brightly woven blanket came into focus. I was among a group of North Americans invited to a native foods fair in a large open space amid the dense city of El Alto, Bolivia, a higher-altitude neighbor of La Paz.
An Aymara elder rose and offered coca leaves and alcohol to the Pachamama (Mother Earth or Mother World). As if in response, wind swirled dust off the street, lifted the coca from the table and sent the leaves spiraling to the ground. The moment was indicative of the week to come, as the dual themes of cultural tradition and historical narrative reverberated throughout our food-driven visit to Bolivia.