Thought for Food – 2010-2011 Annual Theme

The common expression that “we are what we eat” only partially captures the reasons why food is such an important topic. How we produce food and choose the food we consume directly shapes not only who we are, but it also directly affects our health, the health of others, the health care system of the United States, the underlying economy, and ultimately the planet and all the living beings residing on it.

Food and health, in short, are so closely intertwined that one cannot be sensibly considered without an in-depth examination of the other. Topics range from increasing cancer and obesity rates, environmental toxicity of pesticides, the health and ethics of meat production, the erosion of a rich historical and cultural heritage that once connected food, society and land to its replacement by a ‘McDonaldization’ of production types and consumer choices. Since these topics cross disciplinary boundaries, they connect the natural sciences with the social sciences and the humanities at a time when Dickinson College is trying to make sustainability a defining feature of academic learning and institutional policy. Moreover, sustainable agriculture and the related food system that supports it present opportunities for business entrepreneurship and venues for spirited debates over a wide variety of issues, including food labeling, genetic modification, and organic food standards. This was the Clarke Forum theme for the 2010-11 academic year.

Food Access & Poverty

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Alyssa Feher, Tapestry of Health
Becca Raley ’94 (moderator), Partnership for Better Health
Risa Waldoks ’12, The Food Trust
Robert Weed ’80, Project Share

Food security allows all people to have access to regular, culturally appropriate food sources to ensure a healthy existence. Increased reliance on national and state food assistance programs reflect rising poverty and food insecurity in our community. Panelists will discuss both the systemic nature of persistent poverty and food insecurity and innovations designed to address these root concerns.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Environmental Studies, the Center for Sustainability Education, the Food Studies Program, Partnership for Better Health and the Churchill Fund. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Alyssa Feher has served as the director of the Tapestry of Health WIC Program servicing Cumberland, Perry, Mifflin, and Juniata counties since 2011.  Feher is responsible for overseeing clinic operations and works frequently with clients needing assistance from multiple agencies.  She previously served as the human resources manager for a non-profit medical facility. Feher has a B.A. in political science from Shippensburg University and a M.A. in organizational leadership from Mansfield University.

Becca Raley ’94 is the executive director of the Partnership for Better Health where she oversees the foundation’s strategic direction and community investments to improve the health of the people and communities in our region. Raley serves as the organization’s lead spokesperson, advocates for effective policies, cultivates community partnerships, develops new public health initiatives and ensures sound fiscal and human resource management.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2009, Becca worked as director of institutional advancement and senior research associate at Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), a national nonprofit think tank. At P/PV, she designed new projects across the fields of youth programming, community health, workforce development and crime reduction. With 10 years of experience in applied research, Becca’s expertise includes directing multi-method program evaluations, securing and managing philanthropic grants, supporting demonstration projects and providing technical assistance to promising social programs. She has written and contributed to numerous research reports on the effectiveness of community-based programs for youth, young adults and seniors.

Becca serves on the Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center’s Advisory Council and is a board member of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the state’s largest nonprofit food distribution organization serving 27 counties. She is an active member of the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative and serves on numerous local coalitions including the Greater Carlisle Project, the Cumberland County State Health Improvement Partnership and the Perry County Health Coalition. She was appointed to Dickinson College’s Presidential Commission on Community and Civic Learning & Engagement. She served on the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner’s 2017 Consumer Health Literacy Work Group and is past chair of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Stakeholder Leadership Team. She has led foundation initiatives focused on addressing the region’s opioid epidemic, end-of-life planning, rural health access, postpartum depression, chronic disease prevention, and health policy advocacy. Becca graduated cum laude from Dickinson College and holds a master’s degree in sociology from Temple University.

Risa Waldoks ’12 is a project manager with The Food Trust’s National Campaign for Healthy Food Access. In this role, she brings together community residents, policymakers, public health and economic development leaders, grocers, farmers, foundations and other diverse partners in order to advance equity across the country. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is engaged in an array of food and social justice organizations, and she completed the city’s Citizen Planning Institute. Risa graduated from Dickinson College in 2012, and she majored in Policy Management and Political Science.

Robert Weed ’80, interim-CEO of Project Share, is a seasoned business leader, coach, and organizational change agent.  With almost 35 years’ experience in the Retail Banking industry, Bob has built the skills necessary to guide and lead teams through organizational and cultural reorganizations and systems integrations.  Weed has a record of successfully leading teams through integrations during bank mergers, including the PNC acquisition of Sterling Financial and PNC’s acquisition of NCC.  He also has experience in reorganizational activities and strategic tactical execution with Summit Bank and CoreStates Bank.

Weed earned his B.S.  in political science and psychology from Dickinson College.  He received his MBA with a concentration in human resource management from American University.  Bob has obtained coaching certification through various organizations and is a Gallup Great Workplace Award winner.

Related Resources


Web Resources


Video of the Lecture


Sean Sherman

Founder, The Sioux Chef

The Evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America

Friday, November 3, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 4:30 p.m.

Committed to revitalizing Native American cuisine, Sherman will share his  research uncovering the foundations of the Indigenous food systems. There will be a book sale and signing following the presentation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the the Office of Dean & Provost – Neil Weissman, the Center for Sustainability Education, the Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, American Studies, Environmental Studies, and the Food Studies Program.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana for the last 27 years.  In the last few years, his main culinary focus has been on the revitalizing of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context.  Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.  In 2014, he opened the business titled, The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.  In 2015 in partnership with the Little Earth Community of United Tribes in Minneapolis, he and his business partner Dana Thompson designed and opened the Tatanka Truck, which features pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.  Chef Sean and his vision of modern indigenous foods have been featured in many articles and radio shows, along with dinners at the James Beard Foundation in Milan and also Slow Foods Indigenous Terra Madre in India.  The Sioux Chef team continues with their mission statement to help educate and make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible.

Video of the Lecture

Marion Nestle

Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University

Thought for Food

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Agricultural sustainability is intimately linked to public health because agricultural production methods not only affect food availability, but also food product development, food distribution systems, climate change, as well as the health of farm animals, communities and individuals.

Topical Background (provided by the speaker)
Many of the problems in our current food system can be traced back to changes in agricultural policies in the 1970s. Soon after, changes in the U.S. food environment—agricultural as well as corporate–promoted a culture in which it became socially acceptable to consume more calories than expended. The resulting “epidemic” of obesity threatens the health and security of Americans, strains the health care system, and creates a substantial economic burden on society. Underlying these changes is an overabundant and overly competitive food system in which companies are required to expand market channels in order to meet corporate growth targets. The contradiction between public health goals and corporate goals has led to a large and growing food movement in the United States aimed at changing the system in order to promote healthier and more environmentally sound food choices by individuals. Such changes aim at creating a sustainable food system that is healthier for farm animals, communities, the environment, and climate change. This presentation considers the social, cultural, economic, and institutional factors that influence agricultural policies and food choice, and the balance between individual and social responsibility for those choices.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003. She is also a professor of sociology at NYU and visiting professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell. She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition from University of California, Berkeley. Previous faculty positions were at Brandeis University and the UCSF School of Medicine. From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and editor of The Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. Her research examines scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice, obesity, and food safety, emphasizing the role of food marketing. She is the author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (revised edition 2010), What to Eat (2006), Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine (2008), and Feed Your Pet Right (with Malden Nesheim). She is currently working on a book about Calories for University of California Press. She writes the Food Matters column for the San Francisco Chronicle, and blogs daily (almost) at and for the Atlantic Food Channel, and twitters @marionnestle.
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Feeding Dickinson

Panel Discussion

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.


Jennifer Halpin, director of the college’s organic farm
Jay Myers of the food distributor, Feesers, Inc.
Keith Martin, director of dining services
Ben Riggs ’86, Four Seasons Produce Distributors
Scott Wagner, John Gross & Co.
Moderated by Andy Skelton, professor of psychology, Dickinson College

Each day, Dickinson College provides thousands of meals for students and employees. How does an institution feed so many people, with such a variety of tastes and needs? Where does all this food come from and how is its quality assured? Our panel will address these and related questions, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of how a residential college feeds its population.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Jennifer Halpin
Halpin manages the production and educational aspects of the Dickinson College Farm, in addition to working cooperatively with students and faculty to create meaningful educational experiences on the farm. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), is an active member of the South-central Buy Fresh, Buy Local Campaign and is the board president of Farmers on the Square, a producer-only farmers market in Carlisle.

Jay Myers
Myers is employed at Feesers Inc., a local privately owned food service distributor that is been in business for over 100 years. Over the last 28 years he has seen many trends come and go, from the Atkins diet to the miracle food, oat bran — and everything in between. He has earned the respect of his customers, employer and competitors. Jay and Feesers have been supplying the needs of Dickinson College since 1982 and are very proud of this long business relationship.

Keith Martin
Martin is director of dining services at Dickinson. He oversees every aspect of food service for the college’s four dining venues and the catering of hundreds of events held every year at Dickinson. His goal is to offer a range of quality foods to suit the tastes and culinary needs and expectations of a diverse college–all made with the freshest ingredients and when possible, grown at the college’s organic farm or by other local growers and suppliers. His enduring mantra is, “This isn’t just food, it’s life.”

Ben Riggs ’86
Ben Riggs has 20 years of legal experience in the private practice of law and in the banking and produce industries. His career at Four Seasons Produce began in July 2005 as the company’s first general counsel. He now has taken on additional responsibilities as vice president of Business Development. Prior to Four Seasons, Ben worked for four years with several law firms in the Baltimore area before becoming an in-house counsel for York Federal Savings and Loan in 1994. Ben then was promoted to vice president and assistant general counsel of Waypoint Bank in October 2000 and was additionally promoted to senior counsel for Sovereign Bank in 2004. Ben’s legal experience includes litigation, real estate, banking, corporate law and commercial debt restructuring. Ben holds a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College (Class of 1986) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a juris doctor degree from the University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law (Class of 1989). Ben was also a member of the first summer language immersion program at the University of Bremen, Germany.

Scott Wagner
Scott A. Wagner has worked in the food service industry for 34 years. He began his career at John Gross & Co. part-time as a high school student in 1977. John Gross & Co. has been in business for 61 years and is a full line food, beverage, and chemical distributor and has maintained a cash and carry store for almost 30 years. After graduating from high school, Scott continued his career with John Gross & Co. and began working full-time in the service department. After a few years Scott took the lead in the sanitation and service department and was promoted to the service manager. Over time Scott began to show interest in sales and marketing and eventually came to oversee the Sales & Marketing Initiatives for the company. In 1999 Scott was promoted to vice president and today is responsible for many aspects of the company’s daily operations.

Professor Andy Skelton
Andy Skelton is associate professor of psychology at Dickinson College. His teaching interests are in social psychology and in the philosophy and design of psychological research. His research interests include self-perception of bodily states, interpersonal issues in health care, and psychology applied to social problems.
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Heidi Skolnik

Sports Nutrition Consultant to the New York Giants, New York Knicks, The Juilliard School and The School of American Ballet

Eating Your Way to Athletic Success

Thursday, March 3, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance is a strategic approach in what, when, and how much to eat of selected foods to maximize athletic conditioning, training and performance. Learn some of the tools that athletes can use to reduce risk of injury, maximize muscle repair, maintain a healthy immune system and increase endurance.

This is event is co-sponsored by the Department of Athletics.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Considered a thought leader in the nutrition, Heidi is the Sports Nutrition Consultant to the The NY Knicks Basketball Team, The Juilliard School, School of American Ballet and Fordham University Athletics. She was the team nutritionist for the past 18 years for The Football Giants and continues to see clients one-to-one one day a week at The Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital of Special Surgery. Heidi is a contributing advisor to Men’s Health magazine and is co-author of Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance; the right food, the right time, the right results (Human Kinetics, 2010) and The Reverse Diet: Lose Weight By Eating Dinner for Breakfast and Breakfast for Dinner (Wiley, Jan. 2007). An expert resource for national media, Heidi has appeared on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Early Show,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “CNN American Morning’ and ‘Headline News,” “Primetime,” “20/20,” “Extra'” as well as the TV Food Network and is often referenced in newspapers and national magazines such as Glamour, Cosmo, and Real Simple. Heidi has earned two masters degrees, one in Sports Medicine (Exercise Science) and the other in Nutrition and is a New York State Certified Nutritionist. Ms. Skolnik is a Fellow with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is also ACSM certified as a Health Fitness Instructor. As a sought after presenter, Heidi consults and presents nationwide to corporations, professional organizations, universities and colleges on nutrition, fitness and wellness. Ms. Skolnik is the president of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc. a nutrition consulting practice based in New Jersey serving the greater Metropolitan area.
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It Takes More than the “Veg”

Panel Discussion

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room, 12:00 p.m.


Chad M. Kimmel, associate professor of sociology, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Shippensburg University
David Sarcone, associate professor, Department of International Business and Management, Dickinson College

Carlisle, Pennsylvania has a rich history of farmers markets. From the “Market House(s)” located on the square for more than a century, to the more modern market buildings that followed, farmers have continually engaged in commercial activities in Carlisle since the middle of the 18th century. Honoring this tradition, the Carlisle Central Farmers Market (CCFM) established itself as a year round, hybrid public/farmers market. CCFM espoused both social and economic goals as stated in its mission statement – “…to promote sustainable agriculture practices, to encourage healthy eating, and to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for those who produce and sell local products.” But what began in September 2007 as a well intentioned venture, ended in February 2009.

This presentation will explore the life history of CCFM, and will pay particular attention to the timeline of events and decisions that opened, maintained and finally closed the market. Other models/timelines of farmers market development in other parts of the nation will be used for purposes of comparison. The presentation will conclude with lesson learned from the experience.

Chad M. Kimmel, Ph.D.
Chad M. Kimmel is an associate professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where he teaches courses in Community Sociology, Criminology, Deviance, and Juvenile Delinquency. His 2004 dissertation, “Levittown, Pennsylvania: A Sociological History,” chronicled–with the use of oral histories of original residents–the development of one of the more famous postwar, mass-produced suburbs. His is current research and writing pursuits include a grant-funded evaluation project of Main Street programs in Pennsylvania, research on the two-year life story of the Carlisle Area Central Farmers Market, and a community building initiative—The Shippensburg Area Time Bank—that uses a complementary currency (Time Dollars) to strengthen the relationship between town and gown. (

David Sarcone, Ph.D., C.M.A.
David Sarcone is an associate professor at Dickinson College in the Department of International Business and Management. He joined the department in 2001. Prior to joining the Dickinson faculty, Dr. Sarcone was employed in the health care industry. Over a health care career spanning twenty five years he held senior management roles in several leading regional health care systems and specialty provider organizations. Dr. Sarcone served as the coordinator of Dickinson College’s Health Studies Certificate Program and currently serves as the chair person for the Department of International Business and Management .Dr. Sarcone’s research interests include health care services management; and, issues in community health. Dr. Sarcone earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and his doctoral degree from the School of Public Affairs, Pennsylvania State University.
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Sandra Steingraber – “Morgan Lecturer”

World Renowned Ecologist, Author and Cancer Survivor

“Fracking” Our Food: A New Threat to Sustainable Farming

(originally scheduled for February 2)
New Date:

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

A reception and book signing will follow.

We are standing at a historic confluence, a place where two rivers meet: a stream of emerging knowledge about what the combustion of fossil fuels is doing to our planet is joining a stream of emerging knowledge about what synthetic chemicals derived from fossil fuels–such as pesticides and fertilizers–are doing to our bodies.” So writes biologist and author Sandra Steingraber in the second edition of her classic book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment. In this lecture, Steingraber will explore the tangled relationship between petrochemicals and farming, with a special focus on natural gas, the feedstock for many agricultural products and whose extraction from shale bedrock of our nation is threatening the ecological conditions that support our food system.

The event is co-sponsored by the Women’s Center, the Office of Institutional and Diversity Initiatives, and the Departments of Biology, American Studies and Environmental Studies.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
A world renowned ecologist, Sandra Steingraber is an expert on the links between cancer and the environment; reforming chemical policy and contamination without consent.

Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and human health. Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media including The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times.

Released as a second edition in 2010, Living Downstream has been adapted for the screen by The People’s Picture Company of Toronto. This eloquent and cinematic documentary follows Steingraber during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.

Continuing the investigation begun in Living Downstream, Steingraber’s book, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood. Both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology, Having Faith reveals the extent to which environmental hazards now threaten each stage of infant development. In the eyes of an ecologist, the mother’s body is the first environment for life. The Library Journal selected Having Faith as a best book of 2001, and it was featured in a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers.

Called “a poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine, Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer. She was named a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and later received the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s first annual Altman Award for “the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer.” The Sierra Club has heralded Steingraber as “the new Rachel Carson,” and Carson’s own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award. In 2006, Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and, in 2009, the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles.

An enthusiastic and sought-after public speaker, Steingraber has keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout the United States and Canada and has been invited to lecture at many universities, medical schools, and hospitals—including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and the Woods Hole Research Center. She is recognized for her ability to serve as a two-way translator between scientists and activists. She has testified in the European Parliament, before the President’s Cancer Panel, and has participated in briefings to Congress and before United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland. Interviews with Steingraber have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, on National Public Radio, “The Today Show,” and “Good Morning America.”

A columnist for Orion magazine, Sandra Steingraber is currently a scholar in residence in Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She is married to the artist Jeff de Castro, and they live in a 1000-square-foot house with a push mower, a clothesline, a vegetable garden, and two beloved children.

The Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power and Art Spiegelman.

Michael Ableman

Author, Educator, and Urban Agriculturalist

Feeding the Future

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 *
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7:00 p.m.


A reception will immediately follow the presentation in the lobby of ATS. Book signing by the author and the opportunity to purchase Fields of Plenty will be offered at the reception.

Food may be the dominant issue of our time. The industrial system that brings it to us is unraveling, and the cost of that system, ecologically, socially, and personally is enormous.

 But there is hope, individuals and communities are gathering together to rethink our food system, bringing honor and respect and craftsmanship back into farming, and recreating our farms as places that nourish and nurture and teach and inspire.

Join Michael Ableman for an evening of inspiring stories and photographic imagery from around the world as he provides us with a sense of how we can participate in the solutions; on our farms and in our gardens, in our kitchens and at the dining room table, and in the communities where we live.

* This event is part of The Clarke Forum’s series on Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty.

This event is co-sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, The Center for Environmental Sustainability and Education, The Women’s Center and the Departments of Anthropology, Religion, Judaic Studies, Environmental Studies and International Business and Management

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Michael Ableman is a farmer, educator, and the founder and executive director emeritus of the Center for Urban Agriculture, where he farmed from 1981 -2001. He is the author and photographer of From the Good Earth (Abrams, 1993), On Good Land (Chronicle Books, 1998), and Fields of Plenty (Chronicle Books 2005) and the subject of the award winning PBS film Beyond Organic narrated by Meryl Streep.

Ableman’s writing and photographs have appeared in publications and solo exhibitions throughout the world. He lectures extensively in the U.S. and in Europe. His work has been profiled in numerous print and broadcast media nationally and internationally including National Geographic, NPR, the BBC, the Utne Reader, Gourmet Magazine, the L.A. Times, the NY Times and many others.

Ableman has received numerous awards for his advocacy and work in sustainable agriculture and he has helped to inspire dozens of projects and initiatives throughout North America.

He is currently farming in British Columbia, Canada with his wife and two sons at the historic Foxglove Farm where he also directs The Center for Arts, Ecology, and Agriculture.

For more information visit
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Growth in the Garden: Food and Sustainability

Sally McMurry, professor of history, Penn State University
Brian Snyder, executive director, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Stern Center, Great Room
6:00 – Reception
7:00 – Program

One of the South Mountain Environmental History Lectures, this event features a keynote address by Professor McMurry titled “Pennsylvania’s Historic Farming Legacy and Sustainable Agriculture’s Future” and an additional presentation by Mr. Snyder who will discuss opportunities to capitalize on the fact that sustainably raised Pennsylvania products are centrally located to some of the largest population centers in the nation.

Biographies (provided by the speakers)
Sally McMurry is professor of history at Penn State University – University Park. She is a cultural and social historian of nineteenth-century America, with a special interest in the history of agriculture, landscape, architecture, and gender as they develop in rural contexts. She has published books and articles on these topics. Currently she is principal investigator for a multi-year collaborative project, ‘The Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project,’ which will create a resource that can be used by preservation professionals to evaluate Pennsylvania’s historic farm buildings and landscapes.

Brian Snyder is executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), a position he has held since 2001. PASA is considered one of the largest sustainable ag organizations in the United States, annually hosting a Farming for the Future conference in State College (PA) that has drawn over 2,000 participants from as many as 40 states and 8 different countries. During his tenure, the PASA membership has grown from about 1,000 to nearly 6,000 individuals.

Brian holds two masters degrees, from Harvard University (Theological Studies) and the Isenberg School of Management (Business Administration) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before moving to Pennsylvania, Mr. Snyder was Executive Director of The William J. Gould Associates, which operates Gould Farm, a 600-acre sustainable farm and mental health treatment facility in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts.

In addition to writing and speaking in a number of venues on the subject of sustainable agriculture, Mr. Snyder also serves on several other related boards, including the FoodRoutes Network, which operates the popular Buy Fresh Buy Local program nationally, and the Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations. He also serves in an advisory capacity for the Pennsylvania Dairy Task Force, the Northeast Sustainable Ag Working Group and the School of Hospitality at the Penn College of Technology in Williamsport, PA.

Carole Counihan

Counihan poster - web

Professor of Anthropology, Millersville University

Italian Slow Food: Societal Change and Justice

Thursday, October 14, 2010
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.


This talk uses ethnographic interviews with members of the Italian Slow Food Movement – a coalition of 100,000 members around the world devoted to promoting “good, clean, and fair food” – to explore whether food practices can be the basis for advancing personal growth as well as social and economic justice.

This event is co-sponsored by the 2010: A Food Odyssey Learning Community and the First Year Seminar Program.

Biography (provided by speaker)
Carole M. Counihan is professor of anthropology at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. She has a BA in history cum laude from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Counihan’s research centers on food, culture, gender, and identity in the United States and Italy. Supported by a 2005-2006 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, she authored A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado (University of Texas Press, 2009), which is based on food-centered life histories collected from Hispanic women in the town of Antonito, Colorado. Counihan is also author of Around the Tuscan Table: Food, Family and Gender in Twentieth Century Florence (Routledge, 2004) and The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power (Routledge, 1999). She is editor of Food in the USA: A Reader (Routledge 2002) and, with Penny Van Esterik, of the first and second editions of Food and Culture: A Reader (Routledge 1997, 2008). She is editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Food and Foodways. Counihan has been a visiting professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy since 2005, and during Spring 2009 she began a new ethnographic research project on food activism in Italian chapters of the Slow Food movement.

Description of Lecture (provided by speaker)
This presentation describes ethnographic research on the Italian Slow Food Movement. Centered in Bra, Italy, and led by Carlo Petrini, Slow Food is a growing, loosely structured socio-political coalition of 100,000 members across the globe who are devoted to promoting “good, clean and fair food.” All members belong to local chapters called condotte, which are the grassroots vehicles of Slow Food’s mission and are run totally by volunteers who arrange local events and participate in the national organization. During spring semester 2009 I conducted ethnographic interviews with thirty-eight leaders and members of several condotte in diverse regions of Italy. My presentation uses these interviews to explore participation in the chapters as an example of food activism, defined as the process of advancing social and economic justice through food practices. It focuses on the roles of education and gastronomic pleasure in Slow Food chapter activities to determine if these work to bring about personal and societal change.

Suggested Reading:
Andrews, Geoff. 2008. The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.
Hassanein, Neva. 2003. Practicing Food Democracy: A Pragmatic Politics of Transformation. Journal of Rural Studies 19: 77-86.
Jones, P., Shears, P., Hillier, D., Comfort, D. and Lowell, J. 2003. Return to Traditional Values? A Case Study of Slow Food. British Food Journal 105: 297-304.
Leitch, Alison 2003. Slow Food and the Politics of Pork Fat: Italian Food and European Identity. Ethnos 68(4) Dec.: 437-462. Reprinted in C. Counihan and P. Van Esterik, Food and Culture: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 2nd ed.
Parasecoli, Fabio. 2003. Postrevolutionary Chowhounds: Food, Globalization, and the Italian Left. Gastronomica 3(3): 29-39.
Parkins, Wendy and Geoffrey Craig. 2006. Slow Living. Oxford: Berg.
Petrini, Carlo and Gigi Padovani. 2006. Slow Food Revolution: A New Culture for Eating and Living. Milan: Rizzoli.
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Eric Schlosser

Bestselling author of Fast Food Nation and co-producer of Food, Inc.

Thoughts on Food

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 *
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

Schlosser will discuss what effects food production, distribution, and consumption have on society’s health, environment and culture.

* This event is part of The Clarke Forum’s series on Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty.

A reception will immediately follow the presentation in the lobby of ATS. Book signing by the author and the opportunity to purchase “Fast Food Nation” and “Chew on This” will be offered at the reception.

This event is co-sponsored by Student Senate, The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, The Division of Student Development, and the Departments of Religion, Judaic Studies, Environmental Studies and Psychology.

eric-schlosserBiography (provided by the speaker)
As an investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser continues to explore subjects ignored by the mainstream media and gives a voice to people at the margins of society. Over the years he’s followed the harvest with migrant farm workers in California, spent time with meatpacking workers in Texas and Colorado, told the stories of marijuana growers and pornographers and the victims of violent crime, gone on duty with the New York Police Department Bomb Squad, and visited prisons throughout the United States. His aim is to shed light on worlds that are too often hidden. And his work defies easy categorization, earning praise not only from liberal publications like the Nation, but also from Fortune, the Financial Times, and the National Review.

Schlosser’s first book, Fast Food Nation (2001), helped start a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat. It has been translated into more than twenty languages and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. His second book, Reefer Madness (2003), looked at America’s thriving underground economy. It was also a New York Times bestseller. Chew on This (2006), a New York Times bestselling children’s book, co-written with Charles Wilson, introduced young readers to the health effects of fast food and the workings of industrial agriculture. Schlosser has for almost a decade been researching a book on the American prison system. His next book, Command and Control, is about nuclear weapons.

Before trying to write non-fiction, Schlosser was a playwright and worked for an independent film company. In recent years he’s returned to those fields. Schlosser served as an executive producer and co-wrote the feature film Fast Food Nation (2006), directed by Richard Linklater. Their screenplay was named one of the best of that year by New York Times critics A.O. Scott and Mahnola Dargis. Schlosser was an executive producer of There Will Be Blood (2008), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. And he was a co-producer of the award-winning documentary, Food, Inc. , directed by Robert Kenner. Two of Schlosser’s plays have been produced in London: Americans (2003) at the Arcola Theatre and We the People (2007) at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Eric Schlosser: A Preview

Final Schlosser Preview Poster_web

Faculty Panel Discussion on Eric Schlosser prior to his visit to Dickinson College

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.


Scott Boback, Biology Department
Helen Takacs, International Business & Management Department
Karen Weinstein, Anthropology Department
Susannah Bartlow, Women’s Center, will serve as moderator

How has Eric Schlosser, co-producer of the film Food, Inc. and author of Fast Food Nation, contributed to the ongoing national debate concerning the quality of food in the United States? This panel will address this question as a way to preview Mr. Schlosser’s visit to Dickinson’s campus on September 28, 2010.
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