Digital Food Activism
My video covers changes in our food environment over the past two generations, resulting in a trend away from fresh core foods to one of fast food, convenience foods, ultra-processed foods and confectionery. It explores the role of online media in the communication of food messages across the spectrum of individual choice, social trends and underlying food systems.
I am a nutritionist. There is evidence that changes in our food environment is a contributing factor in the rise in obesity and non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes over the past fifty years. I initially wanted to address the campaign targeting banning of marketing of unhealthy food to children. As I explored that, my understanding of the complexities of this issue grew. With social acceptance in our society of these foods, we need to accept that this is a social trend, and not weaknesses in any individual. We need to focus on the social trends and the underlying systems driving those trends. Duncan Green (2016) raises the need to address systems in his book How Change Happens.
Use of Online Media in Food Campaigns
Online media is a fantastic resource for educational strategies. When I explored its use, there was ample evidence of its application for individuals. There was evidence for its use in food trends, and food campaigns; often as supplementary to a traditional-based campaign. However, there is now a new trend in collective campaigns designed to address food systems or social trends which is use at a higher level. Schneider et al (2018) explore this issue in their book Digital Food Activism, addressing underlying systems through collective internet-driven campaigns. I decided to change my focus to food trends and food systems.
I had never done video editing before and had only previously produced one video where I filmed from beginning to end in one go. I had also not done any photo-editing.
It was a steep learning curve to get where I am today with my finished video. In summary, I have now new skills in filming, importing into software for editing, viewing frame by frame, and moving clips around the editing program; editing photos, saving photos in different formats, using photo-editing to create graphic illustrative content, uploading stills to the video-editing software; lengthening clips to the time I wanted, doing voice-overs and clipping into the film sequence, cutting and pasting clips, adding titles, adding credits; adding music, learning how to fade in and out with music, allowing music to play softly in the back-ground; and most important using it for effect as a crescendo in a part that I wanted to emphasize.
In tutorials, we learned all about copyright and how to credit for use of other’s work. I decided to make most of the work my own. As such I have taken hundreds of photos for this video choosing the appropriate ones for the stills in my final video. This has developed my expertise in that area. I had a set-back in my video three days ago when I learned that some video footage I could not use as I had filmed on private property, in a commercial area. I had a very busy weekend taking different footage and improvising earlier film. Even though it was hard work to finish on time, I actually now prefer what I did to what I had planned.
In producing this video I have gained many skills in the use of digital and online media that I will be able to use in my professional role.
Due to exploration of the topic in question, I have also changed my direction in my own professional research to an area I feel is an area of need.
This is my final video.
My thanks to Suzette Pullinger for the use of her piano composition and playing.
The rest of the video including filming, photographs and editing was produced by me, Leonie Elizabeth.
For further details about food processing, you may want to visit my food blog and read the post ‘what is food‘.
Green, D 2016 How Change Happens, Oxford University Press. Oxford.
Schneider, T, Eli, K, Dola, C, Ulijaszek, S 2018, ‘Introduction. Digital food activism – food transparency one byte/bite at a time?’ in T Schneider, K Eli, C Dolan & S Ulijaszek (eds), Digital Food Activism, Routledge, New York, NY, Ch 1.
Other references used in the video are given in the video.