Publisher’s Letter: Spring 2018
By Jamie Lamonde | Photo By Jim Klousia 0
As we at Edible Madison contemplated last year how we wanted to contribute to the conversation on gender, we had a lot of discussion around the influence it has on our region’s food system. We talked about making this issue as genderbalanced as possible, but we inevitably kept coming back to women-focused topics. Topics like women’s equality on the farm and in restaurant kitchens, and engagement and leadership in the food system (and beyond). These issues are real and front-of-mind for good reason. And I think everyone can agree that it’s valid and important to give attention to these matters in the spirit of collaboration, solutions and lasting change. In other words, can we get “Gender Forward” already?
We decided to take a closer look at two areas to see what’s happening now: farming and foodservice. Two fields that have been historically male-focused and are currently getting a lot of love and attention in order to pave the road for a long-term future for women. We decided that we didn’t want to only focus on the very real challenges that women face; we wanted to share the progress, achievements and ultimately the shared vision that will drive all of us humans to a reality where we’re “beyond gender” and working in true partnership.
We invited authors Lisa Kivirist and Anna Thomas Bates, two dynamic, powerhouse humans, to write this issue’s feature stories. Both articles share a common theme: Women in farming and foodservice are focused on organizing. They are making connections, stepping into leadership roles, creating their support structures, and at the end of the day, they are getting the work done that needs to be done. From the fields to the kitchens, it’s the era of breaking out of the gender box and jumping into action.
To top it all off, our creative director, Jim Klousia, has contributed a photo essay called “Gender Produce.” This fun-loving albeit striking look at gender through everyday produce reminds us that gender is really a social construct and a lens that we have been conditioned from childhood to view the world through. When it comes down to it, it’s all tomatoes and cucumbers, after all. We’re all human beings— one big family— and we shouldn’t let our genitals make things so complicated, should we?
So here’s to coming together, all genders, to celebrate the abundance of local foods in Southern Wisconsin and to work together to keep making our foodshed one of the most progressive, pioneering in the country. Forward!
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
P.S. We’d like to extend our gratitude to Jeanne Carpenter for contributing the “Edible Culture” column from the very first issue of Edible Madison in 2010 until she took over ownership of Firefly Coffeehouse in Oregon, Wisconsin, late last year. We feel fortunate to have worked with Jeanne all those years and wish her the best in this new adventure, where she’ll be combining her two favorite food groups: coffee and cheese! We look forward to introducing a brand new column in our next issue.
Jamie has worked in the organic and sustainable lifestyle industry for more than a decade. She is a communications professional with a deep commitment to nurturing positive social change through values-driven, education-based public outreach. Through her work, she is committed to building bridges between family farmers and citizen-partners to change the food system for the better.
Jamie graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, with a B.A. in English Literature. She lives in the beautiful Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin and continues to be inspired, and inspire others, through the organic and local food and farming movement.