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Decolonizing Your Diet: Creating an Augmented Reality Cookbook

The objective of this assignment is to create an augmented reality cookbook to describe the history of food, food preparation, and consumption.

Published onNov 02, 2021
Decolonizing Your Diet: Creating an Augmented Reality Cookbook
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Summary

The objective of this assignment is to create an augmented reality cookbook to describe the history of food, food preparation, and consumption. Students will learn about food and food preparation in relationship to family, community and cultural heritage.  This method applies a critical approach to incorporate the digital humanities into discourses about memory, culture and health. Augmented reality (AR) storytelling embedded in collaborative cookbooks produces new thought processes and beliefs in how we think of augmented reality and storytelling. Through an interactive experience AR presents a real world environment where objects are enhanced to present additional visual, auditory or haptic elements. 

Published in 2015, Decolonize Your Diet:Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel discusses what it means to create “traditional” Mexican food. In this cookbook, the authors redefine traditionality by utilizing crops that have communally been utilized across generations as a source of resilience and protection from health complications. Through this source of knowledge and remembrance, we learn what it means to decolonize.

The act of decolonizing entails “[challenging] the ways in which European colonial powers character indigenous populations as being in need of education, religion or culture...The world needs to learn to the teaching of indigenous peoples, and we need to recover knowledge held by our ancestors,” (Calvo and R. Esquibel, 30).

The (AR) cookbook will include a description of the food, a partial history of ingredients, instructions for preparation, and images or video of the final project. This can be executed in a group or completed individually. If working in a group, students should work together to create their own unique recipe.The cookbook can consist of recipes that you create, the recipe of your favorite meal, or a recipe of a meal that reminds you most of what we mean by conviviality.

There is no limit on the number of recipes you choose to create or discuss. However, the cookbook should have images, photos or videos describing each meal that you are preparing, in addition to an individual writing or audio component. The recipes should be a reinterpretation of your favorite recipes, but using the Decolonize Your Diet approach to create a hybrid model. 

Session Specifics

Module on Food and Culture, semester-long class, faculty collaboration, online learning, or other

This lesson plan has a lot of variety and can be implemented in different learning environments for unique educational or community building purposes. Therefore, this project may be assigned during workshops, semester-long classes or online learning. It can be shaped as a final project or one of the weekly class modules.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How can you make your recipe using healthier alternatives or ingredients?

  2. What are the politics in attempting to make your food choices healthier knowing that health is also a culturally-specific concept?

  3. How can you share these recipes in the form of a story?

  4. Ask students to think about the politics of food, memory and health…

  5. What is accessible and what do we grow or consume that has an effect on our bodies?

Icebreaker Activity: 

  1. What is your favorite food? How is it prepared and who usually prepares it?

  2.  Do you have a favorite story to share about this food?

  3. Can this dish be altered to provide healthier vegan, plant-based or paleo options?

  4. What images would you use to represent this dish/traditional food? Can you find these images online?

Media/Platforms:

  • These projects can be viewed on multiple platforms including mobile devices, computers and much more. AR can be viewed on any type of flat surface including whiteboards, walls, posters or a piece of paper. To begin, print the image that you would like to launch the AR on and place this on a table or on the wall to present. Next, you will open the Artivive application and point your camera at the target image. Artivive is a free application available to students, 

  • You can step back or move forward to see and interact with the AR on your screen.

Audience

The intended audience is high school and college students. However, this project can be widely used in community spaces to promote awareness of contemporary decolonial practices that can be practiced at home. Additionally, this activity may be assigned to individuals to complete independently or for groups to produce a collective and comprehensive cookbook which draws on their diverse backgrounds. This activity consists of three different parts including the icebreakers, production of the cookbook and AR creation. It can be divided into several mini lessons or taught as a module.

Curricular Context

The objective of this assignment is for students to create an augmented reality cookbook to describe the history of food, food preparation, and consumption. Students will learn about food and food preparation in relationship to family, community and cultural heritage.  This method applies a critical approach to incorporating the digital humanities and immersive technology within discourses about memory, culture and health. Augmented reality storytelling embedded in collaborative cookbooks produces new thought processes and beliefs in how we think of augmented reality and storytelling.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will encounter their relationship to food and food preparation through emerging Digital Humanities technologies like Augmented Reality.

  2. In completing this assignment, students should be able to better understand the process of creating their own archival work and produce a unique creation that centers Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) voices. 

  3. Students will have knowledge of new ways of thinking and methodologies through examining how audio, video and archiving can relate to traditional cookbooks.

Preparation

The lesson plan is organized with a kit of resources, examples and icebreaker activities. Before beginning students should familiarize themselves with the book, Decolonize Your Diet:Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. This material will help participants understand key concepts, such as decolonization and food sovereignty to aid them in creating their own recipes and cookbook. The bibliography and list of resources attached to this document can be used during the icebreaker activity to have students think about what themes and stories they would like to tell. Students should have access to a mobile device, iPad or computer to be able to conduct this assignment. Additionally, students should have Artivive or Adobe Photoshop downloaded on their mobile device and/or computer to complete this assignment.

In preparation for teaching these modules, instructors should familiarize themselves with Artivive and tools provided to understand the application, as well as produce sample images. The overall preparation of this assignment is divided into two main instructional phases. The first involves brainstorming, developing and producing a recipe for a decolonial cookbook. The second incorporates augmented and virtual reality pedagogy or methods to execute the project and create an intersectionality between storytelling, more specifically, Ethnic Studies, and accessible Augmented Reality applications.

Technical Requirements

  • Mobile or computer device with one or more of the following applications downloaded: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, Artivive (allows five images to be published and embedded)

  • Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro are part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Apps and Services. These applications allow you to edit photos, create templates and much more. No internet access is required and through your college you may qualify for a free Creative Cloud Subscription. Follow instructions to download Creative Cloud. Artivive is free! All you need is an email account. Go to Artivive and register as a student. Use your school email and receive 5 free AR images to create.

    Materials

  • Cooking materials, as well as ingredients to prepare your recipe!

  • Optional: Cooking partner or family member to share this convivial experience with.

Session Instructions

Cookbook Creation

  • Step 1: Begin by brainstorming dishes that have played a significant role in your life and are culturally relevant foods from your community or other BIPOC communities. Remember: the decolonial aspect of cooking is key! Question the current recipe and think of ways in which it can be decolonized to include fresh and healthier alternatives that pay homage to your ancestors.

  • Step 2: Begin outlining your recipe with a description of the dish, ingredients, time and preparation. You are the artist and have the artistic freedom to experiment with diverse flavors or cultures to add a multicultural aspect to your dish or something that is new and innovative to the original recipe. 

  • Step 3: Once you’ve brainstormed and outlined your recipe, it’s time to cook. Go to your nearest grocery store or small market to purchase the necessary ingredients. 

  • Step 4: While preparing your food, document your trip to the grocery store, items and the process of cooking your recipe. Remember to treat this as a story and feel free to interview family members or friends that first introduced you to this dish or taught you how to cook it. To decolonize, we must also honor and bring awareness to the cultural and generational purposes that food plays in our lives. By interviewing others and incorporating their stories, we are creating a space for these traditions to continue.

Augmented Reality

  • Step 5: After you’ve documented the process of cooking the recipe, you may begin delving into the virtual and augmented realm of storytelling. There are various methods in which you can bring your cookbook to life through virtual and augmented reality. You will be in charge of brainstorming and creating an original augmented reality project using Artivive and other software and applications (Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, ) that allow you to create videos, cut images or perform any other actions necessary to produce your projects. 

You will be expected to create a project that uses the skills required for either of these three methods, but you can be creative and combine methods, or add elements to your project that are not mentioned above to create a unique and engaging project. 

  • Step 6: Upon selecting your preferred method, refer to these tutorials and follow the instructions to execute your project. Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary audio files, images and other elements for your project you may begin recording or using Photoshop or Artivive to create a multimedia presentation.

  • Step 7: After the curation of this, add the recipes and AR/VR components to an Adobe Spark Page, Keynote or Google Document to present and share with others.

Augmented Reality Examples (Artivive & Adobe Aero)

Assessment

For this assignment, you are responsible for creating at least one recipe. Individually, your recipe should include the following elements: 

  • History of the recipe: this can mean a description of what makes it unique or valuable to you.

  • Ingredients: a thorough description of the ingredients and how you can decolonize this recipe.

  • Preparation of the recipe: this can be done in narrative form or include instructions. However, you should include notes of cooking the recipe or memories of who and where it was originally cooked.

  • The final product will include pictures, videos or other representations that can give us a vivid sense of the recipe and food.

  • See rubric below for assessment of the technical portion of assignment and overall grading for mechanics, as well as AR incorporation.


Points

5 points

3-4 points

1-2 points

Step 2: Background research and pre-production

Overall summary of AR focus is excellent and requires minimal changes. Sources are robust and referenced appropriately. Outline and/or script is comprehensive.

Overall summary of AR focus is average and could be improved. Sources are adequate and referenced appropriately. Outline and/or script is adequate.

Overall summary of AR focus is minimal or incomplete. Sources are minimal and/or referenced inappropriately. Outline/script is lacking inquiry.

Step 3: Creating images/videos

Images/videos/audio are clearly related to the topic and include the necessary includes for one of the three methods.

Images/videos/audio are related to the topic and includes some elements for one of the three methods.

Images/videos/audio are not clearly related to the topic and some elements of the method chosen are missing.

Step 4: Augmented reality production and publication

All required elements are present and used creatively exceeding assignment expectations. AR is published to Artivive.

All required elements are present, but more effort could have been made in creative execution. AR is published to Artivive.

Some required elements are missing and/or more effort could have been made in creative execution. AR is published to Artivive.


Resources

  • Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Catrióna Rueda Esquibel and Luz Calvo.

  • Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: Decolonial Perspectives edited by Devon G. Peña, Gabriel R. Valle, Pancho McFarland, Luz Calvo.

  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

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