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 gender-balanced as possible, but we inevitably kept coming back to women-focused 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. We 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 getting a lot of attention to pave the road for a long-term future for women. We decided that we didn’t want to only focus on the challenges that women face; we wanted to share the progress, achievements and shared vision that will drive all of us humans to a reality where we’re “beyond gender” and working in true partnership. .
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?
Please enjoy this season's issue, and we hope it inspires conversation to keep making our foodshed one of the most progressive, pioneering in the country. Forward!
#GenderForward #womeninag #womenchefs #wisconsinforward