We all eat food, but few of us care to think about what systems, policies, costs, and risks are associated with bringing that food to our tables. The production and consumption of food affects every aspect of our lives as individuals, as members of a local community and as agents of a global economy.
In September 2010, Gordon Douglas MD ’55 and Sheila Mahoney began a conversation about food.
The Focus on Food initiative was conceived with the goal of cultivating Project 55 fellowship opportunities for recent Princeton graduates at organizations committed to food-related issues in this country. The issues range from obesity to farm factory pollution to food safety regulation to farm worker rights—all of which may be linked to our industrial food system, which is itself a product of government policies and business practices that support the production of vast quantities of low-priced, low-grade food, whatever the costs to the common good. As diverse and numerous as the issues may be, Focus on Food recognizes four broad areas of advocacy in today’s food movement: public health, environmental sustainability, social justice and animal welfare. Alumni have the opportunity to advance the issues in any one of these areas, whether by examining policy, promoting awareness or effecting change on the ground.
– Are you an experienced professional? Put your principles into practice. Become an AlumniCorps Community Volunteer and donate your expertise to a food-related nonprofit.
– Look at your own personal and professional networks. What organizations in your community are working on the food problem? Who might take a Project 55 Fellow or a skills-based AlumniCorps Community Volunteer?
– Are you passionate about sustainable, healthy food? Help us to organize an educational panel or event for alumni in one of our AlumniCorps cities.
– Are you a professional working in food and public health, social justice, the environment, or animal welfare? Contact us about speaking at an AlumniCorps seminar or panel for Project 55 fellows.
– Join the conversation. Which of the four food system issues most concern you? How can we start a dialogue? Click here to apply for membership in the AlumniCorps Focus on Food online discussion.