Miguel Centeno in conversation

Professor Miguel Centeno, an early advocate of Princeton Studies Food via the PIIRS Systemic Risk in Global Agriculture conference in 2014, will be in conversation with author Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) on Friday, Feb 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Miguel Centeno
Miguel Centeno

From the piece: “Giridharadas is the author of the New York Times bestseller Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, “The True American,” and “India Calling”. He is an editor-at-large for TIME, an on-air political analyst for MSNBC, and the author of the newsletter The.Ink. Centeno, now Vice Dean of Princeton School of Public & International Affairs @PrincetonSPIA, is Musgrave Professor of Sociology. He studies a range of subjects related to globalization and trade.”

He is particularly appreciated for a project he began In the summer of 2000 with John Webb, Director of Princeton’s Program in Teacher Preparation, and in partnership with three Central New Jersey school districts. The program? Princeton University Preparatory Program, an an intensive program to prepare high school students who are traditionally underrepresented at selective institutions due to socioeconomic status to apply to and succeed within highly selective colleges and universities.

This talk is part of the School’s Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Leadership through Mentorship Program. Register here: https://princeton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RnZHD6LmT928Em0v7jg1VA

Click here for information on the lecture series and here for more information on the PUPP.

Singer, Chignell to talk food, ethics

Peter Singer will discuss his latest book, “Why Vegan? Eating Ethically,” with Andrew Chignell, professor of religion, philosophy and human values, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Register here.

From a Q&A with him about his book: “Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. What we eat has an immense impact: on billions of animals, on the climate of our planet, and as we now see, by raising the risk of pandemics, on every aspect of our lives. It is difficult to avoid knowing that it is possible to live without eating animal products, and easier still to shift to a largely, if not exclusively, plant-based diet. Yet habit still plays a huge role in dietary choices, which means, conversely, that many people never examine what they eat through the lens of ethics. Why Vegan? provides that ethical lens.”

From the Labyrinth piece on the book of essays: “Singer traces the historical arc of the animal rights, vegetarian, and vegan movements from their embryonic days to today, when climate change and global pandemics threaten the very existence of humans and animals alike. In his introduction and in the chapter “The Two Dark Sides of COVID-19,” cowritten with Paola Cavalieri, Singer excoriates the appalling health hazards of Chinese wet markets—where thousands of animals endure almost endless brutality and suffering—but also reminds westerners that they cannot blame China alone without also acknowledging the perils of our own factory farms, where unimaginably overcrowded sheds create the ideal environment for viruses to mutate and multiply.

Peter Singer is a moral philosopher and professor of bioethics at PU and also teaches at the University of Melbourne. He is author of Animal Liberation and The Ethics of What We Eat, among many other works.

Andrew Chignell teaches in Religion and Philosophy and directs the Project in Philosophy and Religion at the University Center for Human Values. Chignell studies modern European philosophers, philosophy of religion, the moral psychology of hope and despairaesthetics, and the ethics of belief.  He also has an interest in food ethics, and is currently refreshing his MOOC version of the Ethics of Eating course he taught at Cornell, which will run again in Spring 2021 on EdX.org. He is co-editor of “Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments about the Ethics of Eating.” In Spring ’21 he is teaching Religion, Ethics and Animals (REL 214/CHV 215).

The talk is organized by Labyrinth Books and is co-sponsored by High Meadows Environmental Institute (formerly Princeton Environmental Institute), the University Center for Human Values, the Princeton Public Library, the Princeton University Humanities Council, and the Food, Ethics, Psychology Conference.

Photosynthesis Dinner!

If you are provided information on resources used for dinner options, would you choose differently? A dinner envisioned by Samantha Hartzell of Porporato’s Research Group noted differences in water use by various crops, based on their photosynthesis pathways. From the piece:

The three photosynthesis pathways (C3, C4, and CAM) each have important contributions for sustainable agriculture. The C3 pathway, the most common and basic pathway, is the engine which produces most of the food that we eat today. The “carbon-concentrating” C4 pathway evolved to use sunlight and water more efficiently, and gives us corn, sugarcane, and other “grass-like” crops. The CAM pathway functions with extremely low water inputs (up to ten times less than the C3 pathway) and gives us niche foods like pineapple, nopales, and agave syrup. The dinner was a partnership between Princeton Environmental Institute, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Campus Dining.

Diet choice and climate

From the piece:

The most important insight from this study: there are massive differences in the GHG emissions of different foods: producing a kilogram of beef emits 60 kilograms of greenhouse gases (CO2-equivalents). While peas emits just 1 kilogram per kg.

Overall, animal-based foods tend to have a higher footprint than plant-based. Lamb and cheese both emit more than 20 kilograms CO2-equivalents per kilogram. Poultry and pork have lower footprints but are still higher than most plant-based foods, at 6 and 7 kg CO2-equivalents, respectively.

For most foods – and particularly the largest emitters – most GHG emissions result from land use change (shown in green), and from processes at the farm stage (brown). Farm-stage emissions include processes such as the application of fertilizers – both organic (“manure management”) and synthetic; and enteric fermentation (the production of methane in the stomachs of cattle). Combined, land use and farm-stage emissions account for more than 80% of the footprint for most foods.

Talking food security on 9/30

Lunch and talk: Bridging the Gap between Science and Policy: Tales from a Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, with Ana María Loboguerrero Rodríguez, head of global policy research of the CGIAR Research Program for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security: Monday Sep 30, 2019, 12:15 p.m., 300 Wallace Hall. Open to the public with rsvp to ccrosby@princeton.edu.

Alumni use school food to target climate change

Guiding principles for Princeton Studies Food have inspired innovative frameworks for two schools—Princeton Public Schools and the Thaden School, a new independent school for grades 6-12 in Bentonville, AR—both under the direction of Princeton alumni. The schools, working with Princeton Studies Food co-founder Karla Cook, are looking to use their work to assist other schools, with one goal of templating and sharing a low-resource version of the National School Lunch Program, a $13.8 billion taxpayer-funded service that feeds 29.7 million children every school day.
Steve Cochrane ’81, superintendent of Princeton Public Schools, with the Board of Education, is elevating food and land use to the level of previous sustainable energy efforts in the cafeteria, operationally and in the curriculum. Here’s information on the new plants-rich framework for school meals at PPS. Follow him on Twitter @pps_super.
Clayton Marsh ’85, former deputy dean of the college, now founder of Thaden School, a grades 6-12 charter school in Bentonville, AR, has begun year three of operation. Thaden School has as one of its foundational pillars our Science, Society & Dinner course (story here) that was introduced on campus in 2016 and taught by Prof Kelly Caylor (now at UC-SB) and James Beard award-winning chef Craig Shelton. Follow Thaden School on Twitter @ThadenSchool.

Their work brings to mind the years-long K-12 efforts of:
Nancy Easton ’88, who founded Wellness in the Schools in 2005, a program that seeks to promote healthy eating and living, specifically targeting youth in the public school system. The program is now in at least 50 schools and continues to partner with various teachers, chefs, parents, and students to offer programs and opportunities for kids in public schools to access and learn about healthy food, the environment and fitness.

Creating a Sustainable Food Future

Tim Searchinger, a co-founder of Princeton Studies Food and host along with co-founder Gordon Douglas MD ’55, of our conferences, has with colleagues at the World Resources Institute finalized a years-long project, the ‘World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future’ . The report “offers a five-course menu of solutions that shows we can feed 10 billion people by 2050 without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty.” Among the top solutions: Reduce food loss and waste; shift to healthier and more sustainable diets; avoid competition from bioenergy for food crops and land; and achieve replacement-level fertility rates, in part by increasing educational opportunities for girls. Click here to watch his segment of the WRI video introducing the final version of the report; here’s a Washington Post editorial about the work; here’s a Time piece that quotes him on the subject. Follow his Twitter feed @TSearchinger or email him.