The future of information

The future of information – Is what we’re eating really free-range? Can we trust the big corporations, or is it all one big scam?

After a blissful 4 month summer holiday, nothing smacks you back into the reality of Uni like an assessment that is due in your third week back… thank you #BCM. When first confronted with the task of preparing my research proposal by week 3, I immediately felt overwhelmed. A million ideas ran through my head, and I found that the more I thought about it the more confused I was getting. I wasn’t sure how I was possibly going to pick a topic and be happy with it in such a small about of time, when suddenly I realised I was going about this research project all wrong. Taking inspiration from week one’s topic, I realised that the key to doing this assignment and doing it right lay in choosing a topic that I was curious and passionate about.

Looking at my own world and what was important to me, I knew that my research topic should be about my passion for supporting and consuming free range ethically produced food. Growing up my mum has always believed in cooking us free range produce, so my curiosity for this topic really stems from her.

In todays age it is almost impossible to go to any supermarket, deli, café or restaurant without seeing food that is classified as free range or organic. Whilst it is great to see these terms wherever we go, eventually I started wondering how much legitimacy there actually is to them. For my research project, I will be exploring the legislation surrounding free range food, specifically eggs, finding out how loosely the term can be applied and most importantly how much truth we are actually told. I will be investigating to find out if people are aware that they are often deceived, and I will be analysing and evaluating if people would be in favour of supporting a proposition for laws to be changed so that consumers are told the truth about where their food comes from and to know what they are really putting into their bodies. Throughout my research I will be analysing case studies and academic references, be going into supermarkets and restaurants first hand to find out information and conducting surveys and interviews to gain a true perspective of how people feel about this issue. To avoid any ethical complications I won’t be interviewing anyone under the age of 18, and I will be ensuring that all participants are aware of the content I will be asking them before they complete any survey or interview.

I understand that I have my own strong opinions regarding this topic, so I will ensure that I don’t insert any subconscious bias along the way. I’m excited to begin my research project and can’t wait to see what the weeks ahead bring!

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Connecting curiosity to research

When I read that this weeks task for BCM212 was to post about a personal experience where curiosity lead to research, I knew exactly what example I wanted to write about. Around two years ago I became quite invested in wanting to know more about where the food I was eating came from and how it ended up on my plate. I had never been a fussy eater and had always enjoyed all foods, but suddenly I felt the need to know what I was really eating. What started out as a small google search sparked an entire cascade of information. The more I read the more I wanted to know, and before I knew it I was reading article after article, watching documentaries on factory farming and live exporting and delving into the world of processed rubbish that we put in out bodies everyday. I found numerous Facebook pages, cookbooks and t.v. shows that provided me with alternatives, and since then my diet has definitely changed. Sometimes I wish that I hadn’t been curious in the first place because now I cant bring myself to eat a lot of things that I used to, however on the most part I am happy that my curiosity lead me to research because I am happier with my choices to support local farmers who grow organic produce and am happier knowing what I am putting in my body.

Curiosity is a funny thing because most of the time it sparks from something so small. Stanton Hunter writes about curiosity in a playful way that I think accurately depicts how it works. “Your own sense of curiosity, which you are born with, is nothing other than your very own GPS device. Following it daily is like tacking a sailboat. Interests seem to morph and deepen, then disappear and reappear somewhere else. They seem to speak in code, through feelings and nuance and intuition and qualities.” (Hunter 2017)

Following curiosity can lead you to places you never thought you would be, but that’s the beauty of it.

Resource: Hunter, S 2017, ‘Creativity through Curiosity’, Ceramics Monthly, 65, 1, p. 36, MasterFILE Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 March 2017 <http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=69b19b3a-1169-4b84-ad9a-3a4195bf46a4@sessionmgr4007&vid=3&hid=4202&gt;