Category: Julia Snyder

Lancaster, Pa: Food Security Issues – Covid-19 2020

Source 1: Local News Article: Lancaster’s School Districts Step Up to Meet Students’ Needs Amid Crisis

The federal government cleared Pennsylvania to serve meals to students from low-income families while the school closures persist. 

Source 2: Local Website: Support Local Restaurants

Now more than ever we need to support local restaurants! Gather around this list of delicious options for local dining and support them in creative ways, all while enjoying every bite.

Source 3: Local News Article: Lancaster Meals on Wheels Tweaks Home Delivery to Vulnerable in Age of COVID-19

Meals on Wheels continues to provide food to 350 homebound people in Lancaster.

Source 4: Local News Article: Central Market to Open Tomorrow with Reserved First Hour

Central Market will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, but have asked that 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. be reserved for the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.

Li Ziqi Podcast

Listen to podcast below!

Sources for Project #2

I have been doing some research into how to create a meaningful and impactful mini documentary.  This article discussed that everyone has something to say, and something we care about, but it is how we film it that makes a difference.  Everyone needs a why, and it is important to find the why before filming begins. The “why” serves as the main influence, motivation, and guiding factor throughout the process.

This week, my focus was to lean more on modern articles that talked about storytelling through food. I wasn’t surprised to find out that food gives people the ability to talk difficult and personal things. This article touched on the ways in which food practices have been vital to healing historical trauma, recalling childhood experiences as farm workers, and combating urban violence. It was important for me to understand the vulnerability that comes alongside storytelling. I hope to notice and honor this during our interview process. 

Sources for Project


This article explores how food memories contribute to the construction of migrant identities and cultural practices. Often times migrant communities seek to create a home away from home through cooking, sharing, and consuming ethnic food. The article argues that food is central to the ways migrants identify themselves both in an individual and collective way. This source will provide background information on food, memory, and identity while giving us specific examples from the Cameroonian community in Cape Town, South Africa. 


During the constant movement and relocation immigrants experience, food has the ability to give people a sense of place or belonging.  From production, preparation, or consumption individuals and groups craft their identities around these different goods and lifestyles.  This article will help us to understand how others have used food to find their sense of belonging while constantly moving. This source can also give us some ideas on the types of interview questions we would like to ask people.

What I learned- Jessica Vooris

I always enjoy learning about gender roles in relation to food. And I find it interesting that with time these gender roles have been challenged in some ways. However, women are still associated with food and the kitchen in many cultural contexts. It is assumed that they will do the cooking and cleaning up of food. There are also specific ideas about what is categorized as masculine and feminine foods, like women eating salad and men eating meat. For example, in the way food is often marketed, women are the objects to be looked at, not the food item. I like to think about ways we can challenge these stereotypes.

Ali’s Backyard Garden

To view snapshot, click the link below!

Assignment #2: Local Food System Snapshot

Ali is a stay at home mom with two kids, ages 6 and 4. She is a dear friend of mine back home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and she started her own backyard garden about 4 years ago. The purpose was not only to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for her family but to teach her children the importance and ease of growing food in your own backyard. This has been a hand’s on project for the whole family ever since.

I reached out to her with these questions and received beautiful responses! Take a look:

What were/are your motivations for having your own backyard garden? I grew up having two parents that gardened, so it always felt like something that was inevitable. Once we had a house, we turned over the soil in the back and I planted our first row of carrots. I had no idea what I was doing, but I learned. Now, my motivations are to teach my children about working with the soil and the “circle of life”, hard work, and to continue growing myself through this really organic relationship between me and the earth.

What are some of your daily commitments? It depends on the season, in the summer there is weeding and watering, along with planting if you want your harvest to be staggered and last longer. Then there seems to be a time where all you do is harvest and then preserve, or share. Things are so abundant, you can’t remember a time when you didn’t have fresh food. In the fall, you need to close it up, we cover the soil with leaves, like a blanket. Then you can compost year round, which is such a joyful thing to do. In the winter, you think and plan, write out a schedule so you know when to plant what, and you can start growing seedlings at the end of the winter/beginning of spring.

What kinds of obstacles have you experienced with growing food at home? Time and rabbits. I have young kids, and their willingness to garden is a lot shorter than what is necessary to get the work done. Rabbits love our kale. They dig through all of our barricades and dine at their leisure.

How has your garden impacted people? Our neighbors stop in all of the time to talk and look. We share our food with neighbors, and invite our friends to come and pick what they need. It is such a community building activity to own a garden. Often people who don’t garden, feel guilty for taking so much produce, but those who garden understand how joyful it is to share during that time of abundance and gratefully accept. My kids also understand seasonal eating now, so that when they see Strawberries for sale in January they realize that they won’t be fresh and juicy, and local like a June strawberry.

What recommendations do you have for people who have never had any kind of gardening experience? Just do it, and ask questions. The ground is forgiving, and you learn so much about yourself, and your role in the larger picture of life.

What has this experience taught you? It has taught me countless lessons, too many to count really. Mainly spiritual lessons about my response to chaos in life, a lot about parenting and my relationship with control. I also treat these beautiful plants as friends, and thank them for the relationship that I have with them. That might sound crazy, but that’s simply how I feel!

Also, please enjoy these photos from her backyard…

Assignment #1: You and the Food System

Oatmeal: rolled oats

Oatmeal manufacturing involves harvesting, washing, steaming, and hulling the oats. Quick-cooking oats are rolled between cylinders to produce a flatter flake. Once flaked, the oats are roasted and packaged for consumption. Energy, environmental, and human power are all required for this production.

Oats are best grown in geographical areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest Europe and even Iceland.

Oats provide excellent soil erosion control because of their dense coat. These outer coats also help prevent buildup of many destructive organisms (disease and pests) which reduces the need for the use of expensive herbicides. Oats also require less tillage/plowing for seedbed preparation, which further helps prevent soil erosion. For humans and animals, oats are a heart healthy, whole grain food that lowers risks for heart disease.

It takes approximately 5,000 miles for rolled oats to end up in my oatmeal bowl in the morning for breakfast.

Chocolate: sugar

Processing raw sugar into refined sugar involves a highly energy-intensive process, specifically with the use of boilers that use large amounts of heat to break down sugar cane juice.

Sugarcane is best grown in tropical and subtropical climates like Brazil, India, Thailand, and China which are located in the Northern hemisphere.

The cultivation and processing of sugar produces negative environmental impacts through the loss of natural habitats, intensive use of water, heavy use of agro-chemicals, discharge and air pollution. All of which leads to the decline of healthy wildlife, soil, air, and water in areas where sugar is produced. However, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is currently working with a wide range of stakeholders (farmers, processors, food and beverage producers, traders, investors, and industry specialists) to develop sustainable sugarcane cultivation and processing. Like WWF, General Mills is also dedicated to the sustainability of sugar production. Since 2014, they have slowly switched over to using sugar beets instead of sugarcane, and by the end of 2020 they hope to solely use sugar beets to sweeten their products. Sugar beets are resource sensitive and environmentally friendly in comparison to sugarcane. This switch will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, and contribute in positive ways to climate change. And the best contribution is that you can’t taste or see the difference.

It takes approximately 4,500 miles for sugar to end up in my afternoon chocolate bar.

BBQ Chips: potatoes

Potatoes are harvested using a spading fork, plow, or commercial potato harvester that digs into the earth, grabs hold of the plant, and shakes off the access soil. This process requires energy and human resources. In addition, in order to store the potatoes, refrigeration is required using more energy.

Potatoes are most commonly grown in the state of Idaho, followed by Washington. They seem to grow better in light soil, like volcanic ash because of its rich supply of minerals. Idaho’s rich volcanic soil is ideal for growing potatoes.

The production of potatoes involves a harvesting process called tilling or plowing. This process has great potential to damage the earths’ soil. The primary purpose of plowing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil so that fresh nutrients can be dispersed throughout the ground. However, plowing increases soil erosion and impairs water infiltration and soil health, ultimately impacting the environment.

It takes approximately 2, 294 miles
 for potatoes to end up in my BBQ chips at lunch.


Julia Snyder

Hello! My name is Julia Snyder and I call Lancaster, PA my home. This May I will graduate with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Certificate in Food Studies. Ideally, I would like to be a Women’s and Babies Hospital Chaplain a few years after Dickinson. I have enjoyed connecting topics of Food to my interest in Psychology during my four years in college. Specifically, I am passionate about topics such as mindful eating, food access, and maternal-fetal nutrition.

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