Food First Tours: Travel With a Purpose (and an Appetite) | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Food First Tours: Travel With a Purpose (and an Appetite)

In a perfect world, there would be no poverty, hunger, or dictators.

Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world where idiots abound and money rules and corrupts. Sometimes, donations and volunteering at the local YMCA is not enough to fill the pang in your stomach. Why not get more out of your next vacation? Stop booking that trip to Aspen NOW. 

In a project created from a partnership between a guerrilla organization, Food First/Institute for Food & Development Policy, and a travel company that exposes that true grit of a country, Global Exchange Reality Tours, comes Food First Tours. You can

explore the world like a gastronome without shelling out the time

to study. With the crazy rise in interest in food, these trips are

changing the very nature of travel and the confines of the food world

itself. Learn the intricacies of a country's food sovereignty, and even

though you're on a vacation, you'll learn the skills needed to possibly

make a change in your own community.

With Food

First, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the very nature of the

industry that you never get a chance to see, and we promise you won't get

arrested for it. Visit farms; meet the farmers; see the animals; learn

how olive oil, wine, and tortillas are produced; ride a bike through

vineyards; and lend a hand on farms. A large emphasis will be placed on

the eating and drinking of local fare and understanding the local

traditions, but that goes without saying.


Who's Food First? It's a San Francisco-based think tank dedicated to ending hunger. This group is hard-core:

from rallying in D.C. to figuring out ways to better use farms in Third World countries, members are not afraid to get dirty. Most tour groups

consist of six people, but if you're interested in setting up your own

group and itinerary (think bespoke), it can do that for you too. 

A taste of each trip's itinerary, below: 

Basque Country: Food Sovereignty and Cooperative Production
May 21-29, 2011 

Tour Highlights: 
• Visit the fish market in Bermeo (Bizkaia) 
• Visit the town of Lekeitio 
• Talk with representatives from the Mondragón Cooperative 
• Urkiola National Park 
• Dinner in a "txoko" (a private gastronomical club that meets to cook and experiment in the kitchen and socialize with friends) 

Cuba Organic: Revolution and Evolution 
May 29-June 9, 2011 

Tour Highlights: 
• City Tour of Havana on Bicycles 
• Meeting with Cuban Farmers' Union (ANAP) 
• Volunteer work on organic farm 
• Meeting with CDR (Committee in Defense of the Revolution) 
• Visit INIFAT research institute  

Bolivia: Food Sovereignty and Climate Change 
Aug. 6-21, 2011 

Tour Highlights: 
• City tour of the spectacular city of La Paz (12,500 feet above sea level) with visits to markets 
• Visit the "July 16th" market in El Alto, the highest (at 13,500 feet) and one of the largest open-air markets in the world 
• Walking tour through coca fields in traditional coca-growing communities 
• Homestay in an Aymara farming community on the shores of Lake Titicaca and discussion of the impact of climate change on highland peasants 
• Discussion with Quechua farmers in Cochabamba about struggles with production and climate change in mid-range Inter-Andean valleys 

France: Food Sovereignty and Artisan Production 
Sept. 15-25, 2011 

Tour Highlights: 
• Visit organic farms and meet with farmers and artisan cheese, meat and bread makers 
• Meet with leaders of the farmers' union Confédération Paysanne to discuss their struggle for food sovereignty and against GMOs 
• Excursion in the rural, volcanic landscape of Auvergne 
• Visit an agricultural high school and experience a French 'school lunch' 
• Tour the Chateau de Chenonceau and its spectacular gardens Those were just a few of the things that could be enjoyed on the trips. 

For all information on itineraries, bookings, and prices, visit the website. It'll be the trip of a lifetime.

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