Colleges and universities with existing food studies programs should strive to make entry more feasible for lower income students through targeted grants and scholarships.
Food studies faculty should ensure that curricula address the diverse educational and professional development interests and needs of all students.
Food touches almost everything in our society today.
“Food studies” is a growing academic field that seeks both to understand and to improve these systems. The number of undergraduate degree programs in food studies in the United States is growing.
Such interest points to the double task of good food studies education.
It is crucial for students to learn about the complex issues in the food system—say, the controversy over genetically modified organisms (dangerous to human health or the answer to global food insecurity?In many cases, academics have also engaged with food movements by lending research skills to community-led initiatives, helping to document patterns of food inaccessibility, or providing information needed to successfully advocate for policy change.If food studies is to continue to be responsive to the growing food justice movement, graduates need to be able to translate concepts of social justice and food to post-college careers.Food studies can do three important things to make this happen: • First, critical analysis of the food system should be part of food studies courses and programs.Rather than fostering simple mastery of food-system facts (for example, how many more mouths we will have to feed by mid-century), programs should help students develop deep understandings about the social and political structures underlying food and environmental injustices (for example, how global political patterns foster food shortages in low-income countries).Or those who have experienced the economic challenges of agricultural communities?Marion Nestle, a public health expert and NYU faculty member (no relation to the Nestlé food company!• Degree programs should also be designed to help graduates both obtain and create “good food jobs”—jobs that pay a living wage, offer safe working conditions, promote sustainable economic development, and make healthier food more accessible to all.Food studies graduates may in fact create their own jobs, devising new ways to address food challenges as they evolve.Berkeley’s annual Himalayan Fair was held on Saturday at Live Oak Park.The fair is now in its 28th year and is an important fundraiser for grassroots organizations in Nepal.