Kelsey Timmerman, author of 2016’s Peay Read book “Where Am I Eating?”, spoke about his world travels and how the U.S.’s reliance on food imports affects foreign workers at the Peay Read event on Thursday, Sept. 29.
In his speech, Timmerman said students should stop and think about the food they eat every day, the people who made it and how we can help raise their wages and quality of life through consumerism. He told many of the stories found in “Where Am I Eating?” related to the conditions faced by foreign workers who grow food products imported to the U.S.
Timmerman also said he found there is a different way to consume from what we are used to that can improve workers’ lives, through Fair Trade certified products.
Fair Trade USA is a non-profit organization that sets standards, certifies and labels products that are friendly to both workers and the environment, according to their website. The organization is a common theme in Timmerman’s books, including “Where Am I Wearing,” 2015’s Peay Read book.
“’Where Am I Wearing?’ was so well-received and Timmerman was so well-received that we invited him back,” Vice President of Student Affairs Sherryl Byrd said.
Timmerman and “Where Am I Eating?” received mixed responses from students after the event.
“He’s doing it for a good cause,” nontraditional freshman Josh Forbess said. “It’s always good to ruffle feathers and dig deeper to get the issues that are lying under the surface.”
“It was OK,” freshman theater and dance major Victoria Jones said. “He was interesting to listen to, but I didn’t care. I had papers to write and I wanted to go home.”
“I feel like the Peay Read was pretty useless,” freshman computer science major Chris Phillips said. “All he did was go over exactly what the book said. I actually enjoyed the book and it opened my eyes to a bit of stuff, but I don’t feel like I needed him to tell me that.”
For more information on Timmerman and his work, visit his website at whereamiwearing.com.