Review of First we eat: Food sovereignty north of 60
Keywords:Susanne Crocker, First We Eat, community food connections, food literacy, self-sufficiency, neoliberal food system
Suzanne Crocker’s 2020 film First we eat documents her and her family’s efforts to spend an entire year eating only food that can be grown, gathered, and hunted around Dawson City, Yukon, in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Living 300 km south of the Arctic Circle, Crocker’s experiment was spurred by a landslide that disrupted the supply of imported foods into the territory, serving as a wake-up call to food system vulnerability, including increasing and unpredictable climate impacts. First we eat offers an educational glimpse into local northern food systems and food sovereignty that generates reflection on the importance of connecting and learning through communal food networks. In addition to community food connections, the food literacy, self-sufficiency, creativity, change, and challenge involved in eating locally for one year reflect the disconnect between consumers, producers, and land in contemporary food systems. The Crocker family learns a great deal about food harvesting, production, processing, and storage, much of which reflects the knowledge embedded in local and Indigenous food practices. First we eat serves as a starting point for discussions about food security, localizing food systems, and food sovereignty, as well as critical reflection on how Indigenous land, food sovereignty, and knowledge are central to these discussions. Crocker’s ambition to eat entirely locally for one year inspires reconnection with food, land, and community, encouraging viewers to explore how they might become more engaged with their local food system.
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