Geog project – Understanding Patterns of Consumption

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Overview: The intent of this assignment is to help you understand how global your diet really is. 

Value: 10% of term mark; marked out of 100.

Part 1 – Food Diary (20 marks) – You can use the Excel sheet from Blackboard or make your own

For two days record everything you eat. Group all your food into categories based on the Canada Food Guide (also on
Blackboard), plus one category for junk and one for beverages (except juice and milk).

Vegetables and Fruit (incl. Juice)
Grain Products
Milk and Alternatives
Meat and Alternatives

Junk (anything that does not fit in the above categories)
Beverages (coffee, tea, pop, Frappaccinos, double-doubles…)

Part 2 – Food Origins (20 marks) – Find the origins of the food you consume – Record in your Food Diary“Origins” can refer to the point of origin (i.e. where was the apple grown and shipped from) or to the culture associated

with the cuisine (i.e. an Indian curry dish, Japanese sushi), or to where the food was developed originally.

For fruit and vegetables look at the labels. Some meat will list it on the label or you can ask the butcher (they might
know). Milk and dairy products are usually provincially regulated.

Packaged foods can be more difficult to determine their origin. Some packaged foods list the location of manufacture on
the label; others only list the point of import. If you cannot determine the point of origin for the food item then look up
where it was developed and use this as your point of origin – http://www.foodtimeline.org/.

Part 3 – Map (20 marks) – see links on Blackboard for Tips and Tricks

Create a map of your food origins. This map must be meaningful and geographically accurate. You can use mapping
software like ArcGIS or Google Earth using Fusion Tables (available in the library) or ArcGIS Online. You may hand draw
your map but it must geographically accurate (you can download an outline from the web as a base and colour this in).
Your map must have: a) title; b) a page border (suggest 1⁄2”); c) a north arrow; d) a legend.

Part 4 – Discussion Questions (40 marks)

Answer all questions in full sentences, about one paragraph for each question, one page MAX, 12 pt font, double-spaced.

  1. 1)  Describe the patterns on your map. Where does your food come from? If you struggled to determine the origin,
    why do you think that was? Explain what guides the food choices you make (i.e. budget, culture, preference,
    availability…).

  2. 2)  Are there local alternatives available for some of the foods on your list? Which ones? What are some barriers to
    switching? (see Blackboard for helpful links on local food).

  3. 3)  What do you see as beneficial about a diet that includes food products from around the world? What is
    potentially detrimental about it? 

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