Please join us on Friday! Click on the poster to reach the registration page, to see the agenda and to read about our panelists and moderators.

2/17/17 Changing Climate, Changing Appetites: Panelist biographies


Gordon Douglas 2010Gordon Douglas MD ’55, Princeton Studies Food co-founder, is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and is director of three biotech companies: Vical, Inc. Novadigm, and Protein Sciences. He was president of the Merck Vaccine Division, responsible for the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of Merck’s vaccine products, from 1989 until 1999. Previously, he was an infectious disease specialist with research interests in respiratory viral infections, vaccines, and antivirals at Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. MD, Cornell University Medical College; National Academy of Medicine.

Dan Rubenstein
, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Director, Program in Environmental Studies, Princeton University. Princeton Studies Food Council. Dan studies how environmental variation and individual differences shape social behavior, social structure, sex roles and the dynamics of populations. He has special interests in all species of wild horses, zebras, and asses, and has done field work on them, identifying rules governing decision-making, the emergence of complex behavioral patterns and how these understandings influence their management and conservation. In Kenya he also works with pastoral communities to assess impacts of various grazing strategies on rangeland quality, wildlife use and livelihoods. He has recently extended his work to measuring the effects of environmental change on behavior, including issues pertaining to the global commons and changes wrought by management and by global warming. He has received Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

GSR Tim Searchinger headshotTimothy Searchinger, Princeton Studies Food co-founder, is a research scholar in the Woodrow Wilson School STEP program and a lecturer in the Princeton Environmental Institute. His work combines ecology, agronomy and economics to explore ways of meeting global food needs while reducing climate change and impacts on ecosystems. His academic work is best known for papers exploring the land use and greenhouse gas emissions of bioenergy. He is a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, for which he serves as technical director of “Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Sustainably Feed More than 9 Billion People by 2050.”


David BenzaquenDavid Benzaquen is the founder and CEO of PlantBased Solutions, a mission-driven, marketing and management consulting agency for plant-based consumer packaged product companies. In addition to helping launch and grow plant-based brands, PlantBased Solutions manages a syndicate of angel and venture capital investors interested in plant-based business opportunities. David is an advisor at various food incubators and accelerators, including The Brooklyn FoodWorks and Food-X. He is a contributing writer to the New Food Economy and New Hope Natural Media’s IdeaXchange. Bachelor’s, American University; Master’s, The New School.

IMG_2743Rozalie Czesana ’18 is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School with certificates in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies. On campus she pursues her interest in sustainable food and agriculture by taking classes including Economics of Food & Agriculture and by being a member of several food-related organizations, including Princeton Studies Food, Spoon University Princeton, Greening Dining and the Princeton Farmer’s Market. Last spring, as part of her work for Princeton Studies Food, she assisted with our new interdisciplinary course, Science, Society & Dinner, working with instructors Chef Craig Shelton and Professor Kelly Caylor. rczesana@Princeton.EDU

DSC_0426Lyndon Estes is an associate research scholar with the Woodrow Wilson School and Civil and Environmental Engineering and a lecturer in the Princeton Environmental Institute. His research, which grew from early years of managing nature reserves in South Africa, focuses primarily on lowering agriculture’s environmental costs – one of the biggest drivers of global change. This challenge requires data entrepreneurship, or new ways to collect and analyze the information needed to understand the tradeoffs between agricultural benefits (e.g. food security) and environmental costs (e.g. carbon emissions). BA English, Georgetown University; M Phil, Conservation Biology, University of Cape Town; PhD, Environmental Science, University of Virginia.

Tim Griffin is an Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.  At Friedman, he directs the interdisciplinary graduate program, Agriculture, Food and the Environment, and teaches classes on U.S. agriculture, and agricultural science and policy.  His current research focuses on regional food system and climate change impacts on agriculture, and he supervises doctoral students conducting research on topics ranging from precision agriculture to food access. He served as an Advisor to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, focusing on Sustainability, and recently completed work as a member of the National Academy of Sciences study Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects.

Smitha Haneef, Executive Director, Princeton University Campus Dining, manages all of Princeton’s residential and retail dining operations. She run her own restaurant, and developed food programs for companies such as Cisco and Disney. At Princeton, her initiatives include the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative of thought leaders using teaching kitchen facilities as catalysts of enhanced personal and public health, a Culinary Council of chefs who focus on food systems and training and planning menus with a focus on health, wellness and sustainability; informing the community about current practices and inviting active engagement; and introducing food trucks. She has connected Campus Dining to the Culinary Institute of America and also maintains the university’s membership in Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC), the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) and the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC). She also oversaw creation of a 42-page “Campus Vision for the Future of Dining” (PDF).

PU Reuwai Mount Hanewald 2016Reuwai Mount Hanewald ’94, her parents, Pam and Gary Mount (’66) and sister, Tannwen Mount (’98) own and operate Terhune Orchards, where they grow 40 types of fruits and vegetables on 200 acres in Princeton. The farm also includes a bakery, vineyard and winery, greenhouses, pick your own, barn yard, and farm market. Terhune Orchards receives 700,000 visitors a year and is known for its organic and innovative farming and successful marketing practices. Reuwai recently returned to the farm full time after 20 years as a science department chair and secondary school teacher at schools in the United States, Central America and West Africa.

Terry Ingram, East Regional Pool Manager, PA-MD, Organic Valley Cooperative, has been an organic dairy farmer for ten years on an all grass dairy in Virginia. As an Organic Valley member, he works with the government affairs team, the marketing team and in the field, with farmers who are transitioning to USDA certified organic. His specialties are organic transition, grass-based dairy, animal welfare and the cooperative model.

Constantine Katsifis, Owner, Americana Diner, Hightstown, NJ, had the foresight in 2009 to partner with the award-winning Master Chef Craig Shelton in a “reimagining of the diner” at the time he owned Skylark, an iconic eatery on Route 1 North in Edison. Together, they brought Chef Shelton’s molecular understanding of foods, flavor and human physiology and their shared sustainability sensibility to the diner crowd — and earned an unheard-of Don’t Miss rating from The New York Times for the diner. Since then, the two opened Skylark on the Hudson in Jersey City and most recently worked on Americana Diner, an eatery with so much traffic it has its own light — earning Best Diner in New Jersey designation in 2013. Katsifis and Chef Shelton aim for wildly delicious, affordable sustainability for the masses — and locally sourced whenever possible according to their deliberate plan to build community resiliency.  (Chef Shelton is chef/lecturer of Science, Society & Dinner, the interdisciplinary course we introduced in Spring 2016).

Brent Kim
 earned his Master’s in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he serves as a Program Officer at the Center for a Livable Future. Since joining the Center in 2008, his work has spanned farm to fork, with published works on industrial food animal production, soil contamination, urban agriculture, food and agricultural policy, and the role of diet in mitigating climate change. As a former high school educator, he has never lost his love of teaching, and continues to communicate the science to students, journalists, policymakers, and other key audiences.

Forrest Meggers is assistant professor at Princeton University jointly appointed in the School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He initiated and leads the CHAOS Lab (Cooling and Heating for Architecturally Optimized Systems) where he directs a highly interdisciplinary research developing new technologies, methods and forms for energy systems in architecture. Meggers received his doctorate from the ETH Zurich D-Arch ITA Building Systems Group, and subsequently developed a low exergy cooling research lab in Singapore as part of the ETH Future Cities Lab. Meggers joined the Princeton faculty in 2013. He started a new PhD track in technology in architecture, and initiated cutting edge research on radiant energy exchange and sensing, the energy-water nexus, latent heat management and utilization, and as subtask leader in the IEA EBC Annex 64 he studies geothermal low exergy district systems. He has numerous peer reviewed conference and journal publications as well as contributions in architecture journals and recent book chapters in Future City Architecture for Optimal Living and Energy Accounts. His work spans disciplines and uses fundamental science to expose unconventional design opportunities that generate new architectural potential.

Miriam Nelson is the director of the Sustainability Institute and deputy chief Sustainability Officer at the University of New Hampshire. Most recently, she served as associate dean of Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life and professor of nutrition at its Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. At the Friedman School, she was the founding director of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention and co-founder of ChildObesity180. As an international leader in research on nutrition, physical activity, and public health, she has published scholarly work on food policy, public health, and civic engagement. Based on her innovative research, Dr. Nelson has written ten books, including Strong Women Stay Young and four other New York Times bestsellers. In 2008 she served as the vice-chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She also served on the 2010 and 2015 respective Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees (DGAC) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Within the 2015 DGAC, Dr. Nelson spearheaded the influential work on dietary guidance and sustainability. From 2011 to 2014 Dr. Nelson served as a member of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (chairing in 2013).

GSR Stephen PacalaStephen Pacala is the Frederick D. Petrie Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He co-directs the Carbon Mitigation Initiative, an effort to develop solutions to the greenhouse warming problem. Steve is also on the Board of the Environmental Defense Fund, and is a founder and Chairman of the Board of Climate Central, a nonprofit media organization focusing on climate change. He was director of the Princeton Environmental Institute from 2005-2014. He has researched a wide variety of ecological and mathematical topics. At Princeton, his work focuses on problems of global change with an emphasis on interactions among the biosphere, greenhouse gases and climate. He also researches solutions to the climate problem, the dynamics of forests, and the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function. Professor Pacala completed an undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in Biology at Stanford University. His honors include the David Starr Jordan Prize, the George Mercer and Robert MacArthur Awards of the Ecological Society of America, and the Presidential Award of the American Society of Naturalists. He is a lifetime Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds an honorary membership to the British Ecological Society, and membership to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Madelynn Prendergast ’19 is an English major who has been passionate about food since she could hold a rolling pin. Prior to attending Princeton, she spent much of her time baking for her business and working in restaurants. Last spring she had the opportunity to foster her passion and expand her understanding through the freshman seminar Science, Society, and Dinner. The seminar piqued her interest in the connections between the environment, food cultivation, and diet. She enjoyed uncovering more about these relationships in the process of planning the conference. She is a member of the Princeton Studies Food Council.

Deborah Prentice 
is Dean of the Faculty and Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her research focuses on social norms – the unwritten rules and conventions that govern social behavior. She is interested in how people are guided by norms and constrained by norms; how they respond when they feel out of step with prevailing norms; how they determine what the norms of their groups and communities are; and how they react emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally, to those who violate social norms. She is also interested in the use of norms in interventions designed to change behavior. Prentice served as Chair of the Psychology Department and as co-Chair of the Princeton Trustee Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity before being appointed Dean of the Faculty in 2014. She received her B.A. in Human Biology and Music from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University. She will become Provost of the University in July. predebb@Princeton.EDU

Kristen Rainey ’97 has been since 2013 the Global Procurement & Resource Utilization Manager for Google’s internal food program which fuels its employees in its offices around the world. In this role, she leads the program’s procurement strategy for how it sources food, beverages, and operating supplies in 50+ countries for 200+ cafes; and she leads the program’s strategy to reduce waste, water, and energy in its kitchens, with an emphasis on food waste reduction. Kristen earned an MBA as a Park Leadership Fellow at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and completed her last semester in a food and beverage Masters program at SDA Bocconi (Milan). Kristen also holds a Masters in International Affairs from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, where her graduate thesis addressed the Triple Bottom Line in the food industry.

Christina A. Roberto ‘04 is an Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Roberto is a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist. She is Director of the Psychology of Eating And Consumer Health (PEACH) lab. Her research aims to identify and understand factors that promote unhealthy eating behaviors linked to obesity and eating disorders and design interventions to promote healthy eating. In her work, she draws upon the fields of psychology, marketing, behavioral economics, epidemiology, and public health to answer research questions that can provide policymakers and institutions with science-based guidance.

Sarah Schindler is a Visiting Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University and also is a Professor of Law and the Glassman Faculty Research Scholar at the University of Maine School of Law. She is spending the year in residence at Princeton as a fellow in the Program in Law and Public Affairs. Professor Schindler’s nationally recognized scholarship focuses on property, land use, local government and the built environment. Three of her recent articles, “Architectural Exclusion” (Yale Law Journal), “Banning Lawns” (George Washington Law Review), and “Of Backyard Chickens and Front-yard Gardens: The Conflict Between Local Governments and Locavores” (Tulane Law Review), were selected to be reprinted in the Land Use and Environmental Law Review, an annual, peer-selected compendium of the ten best land use and environmental law articles of the year. At Maine Law, Professor Schindler teaches property, land use, local government, real estate transactions, and animal law. She received the Professor of the Year award in 2013. Prior to joining the Maine Law faculty, Professor Schindler clerked for Judge Will Garwood of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas and practiced in the area of land use and environmental law in San Francisco.

Daniel Shepard ’19 is a second-year undergraduate here at Princeton, interested in anthropology, philosophy, sustainability, and agriculture. Growing up off-grid on a permaculture farm in Viola Wisconsin, he learned all about growing food and what it means to live connected with the earth. While on a gap year, Daniel studied abroad for 9 months in Senegal. Daniel has carried with him his interest in sustainability to Princeton with his involvement in a number of related courses. He is the President of the Princeton Jugging Club and is an active member of the  Princeton Studies Food Council. danielos@Princeton.EDU

Mark Shepard ’P19, is the CEO of Restoration Agriculture Development, Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farms, a 110 acre perennial agricultural savanna, one of the first of its kind in the US. New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for humans and animals) fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody crops. The farm is solar and wind powered. Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and bio fuels production. Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture design from Bill Mollison, the founder of the international Permaculture movement. He is the author of the bestselling book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers.

Rachel Sylvan is a sustainable business strategist and leader focused on integrating sustainability and corporate responsibility into the operation and culture of large-scale businesses. At Sodexo, she develops and manages a wide range of global and national initiatives to advance environmental sustainability, wellness, and women’s empowerment while enhancing and protecting customer value and corporate performance. Rachel also developed and led the first enterprise-wide sustainability function for U.S. Foods, the second largest food distributor in North America.  She has advised Ford Motor Company, Volvo, the U.S. EPA and others on integrating business strategy and sustainability and she holds both an M.B.A. and M.S.  from the University of Michigan with a focus on sustainable business strategy.

Richard Waite is a research associate in the World Resources Institute’s Food Program. He works on the Better Buying Lab, an initiative that brings together food companies and experts in marketing and behavior change to enable consumers to buy more sustainable foods. He authored installments on shifting diets and aquaculture for the World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, and holds an M.A. in International Development Studies from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and a B.A. from Hamilton College.

Elke Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her research models decision-making under uncertainty and time delay from a psychological and neuroscience perspective. She is past president of three societies (Neuroeconomics, Judgment and Decision Making, and Mathematical Psychology) and a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Experimental Psychology. She was elected to the German National Academy of Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recently received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Risk Analysis.

David Wilcove is professor of ecology, evolutionary biology, and public affairs at Princeton University. Prior to joining Princeton’s faculty, he worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, The Wilderness Society, and The Nature Conservancy. He is the author of No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations (2007), The Condor’s Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America (1999), and numerous technical and popular articles in the fields of conservation biology, ornithology, and wildlife conservation. His research focuses on the impacts of farming, logging, hunting, and other human activities on biodiversity, particularly in Asia. Professor Wilcove has served on the boards of directors of the Society for Conservation Biology, Rare, American Bird Conservancy, Natural Areas Association, and the New Jersey Audubon Society. dwilcove@Princeton.EDU

Eliza Wright ’19, is majoring in English and pursuing a certificate in Environmental Science. She grew up in Princeton, and has always harbored a passion for all things food related, as well as a dedication towards sustainable living. On campus, she is a co-founder of Tangerine, a student-run magazine that is scheduled to release its first issue this Spring. The focus of the magazine is to encourage students to be mindful of what they consume and engaged with its source. She also spent last summer working as an intern at Lucky Peach Magazine, a popular food and lifestyle publication. She is on the Princeton Studies Food Council.


Join us 2/17: Changing Climate, Changing Appetites

Please register and join us at Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall on Friday, Feb 17, for a day of debate and solutions-oriented discussions on how to deliciously nourish ourselves and the global population while protecting our Earth and its finite resources. Discussions will feature 5-minute quick takes by each panelist, with the remainder of each panel dedicated to audience Q&A. We will explore behavioral science and how we can change our appetites, secrets of making these foods delicious and crave-worthy, the role of marketing and advertising in the effort and the power and politics of the food/ag/hospitality sector. Please plan to stay with us through the day! Scroll down to see our agenda (expect a few tweaks as we get closer); bios here.

As background reading, we offer the World Resources Institute report, Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future (PDF), co-authored by Timothy Searchinger, a research scholar/lecturer at PU and co-founder of our Princeton Studies Food Council, which provides the framework of our conference.

And come hungry. For the first time, this conference will feature a lunch-and-learn menu – in partnership with Chef Jerry Luz and his colleagues at Campus Dining — for registered attendees. Lunch will include a tasting, so bring your smartphone to participate in the instant survey as you sample. NOTE: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR LUNCH.

Logistics: If you’re driving, there are metered spots on the streets (most nearby are metered two-hour spots) or park in Lot 21 (directions here) and take the shuttle or walk to Robertson Hall. or there is a shuttle you can take from the parking lot. There is also metered parking if you can find a spot nearby. If you are taking the train, there’s information here

A special thanks to Chuck Crosby at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs-STEP Program, our logistics wizard, and to Chef Jerry Luz of Campus Dining for his expertise for our lunch – and to all whose work before us has enabled this group and this symposium, the third for Princeton Studies Food.

– Karla Cook, co-founder and coordinator, Princeton Studies Food

Food for a Sustainable World & How to Get There

Friday, February 17, 2017; Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall

PANEL ONE 8:30 – 9:45

MODERATOR Gordon Douglas MD ’55 Weill Cornell Medical College; Co-Founder, Princeton Studies Food
Tim Searchinger, Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy; Lecturer in the Princeton Environmental Institute; Princeton University. Co-Founder, Princeton Studies Food
Dan Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Director, Program in Environmental Studies, Princeton University
Brent Kim, Program Officer, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins University

COFFEE: 9:45 – 10:15

PANEL TWO 10:15-11:25

MODERATOR: Daniel Shepard ‘19
Debbie Prentice, Dean of the Faculty; Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Elke Weber, Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment; Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School; Princeton University
Christina A. Roberto ‘04, Medical School Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

PANEL THREE 11:25-12:35

MODERATOR: Reuwai Mount Hanewald, Terhune Orchards, Princeton, NJ
David Benzaquen, Plant Based Solutions
Mark Shepard ’P19, Farmer and author, “Restoration Agriculture”
Constantine Katsifis, Owner, Americana Diner, Hightstown, NJ
Terry Ingram, East Regional Manager, Organic Valley Cooperative

PRINCETON STUDIES LUNCH: 12:35-1:20 (see menu below)

MODERATOR: Dan Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Director, Program in Environmental Studies, Princeton University.
Smitha Haneef, Menu Narrative:  Executive Director, Princeton University Campus Dining Meatball Tasting & Poll Everywhere instant survey
Posters: Hummus: Eliza Wright ’19; Megadarra: Daniel Shepard ’19; Roasted Roots, Madelynn Prendergast ‘19

PANEL FOUR 1:20 – 2:30

MODERATOR: Lyndon Estes, Associate Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, Princeton University
Steve Pacala, Frederick D. Petrie Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Director, Carbon Mitigation Initiative, Princeton University
Forrest Meggers, Assistant Professor of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University
David Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs and the Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University

PANEL FIVE 2:30 – 4:00

MODERATOR Eliza Wright ‘19
Kristen Rainey, Global Food Program Vendor & Supplier Relations Manager, Google Food
Richard Waite, Research Associate, World Resources Institute
Rachel Sylvan, Director, Engagement and Strategic Partnerships (Office of Sustainability), Sodexo

COFFEE: Available at 4 p.m.

PANEL SIX 4:10 – 5:15

MODERATOR: Rozalie Czesana ‘18
Sarah Schindler, Visiting Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Tim Griffin, Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment program; associate professor at the Friedman School, Tufts University
Miriam Nelson, Director, Sustainability Institute, University of New Hampshire

RECEPTION & MEETUP at E-HUB sponsored by our partners: PU Keller Center and PU Career Services



Chef Jerry Luz, PU Campus Dining Services

Animal Protein: Turf & Dairy

Sample and survey one of each meatball: Beef with whole grain, all-bean and vegetable, fish
Sauce on the side

Beans, Pulses & Legumes

*Hummus: Chickpea Puree with Lemon and Tahini and Carrot Sticks
*Megadarra: Brown Lentils with Slow-Caramelized Onions & Toasted Pine Nuts over Brown Basmati Rice with Scallions

Whole Grains, Seeds & Nuts

Quinoa Pilaf with Vegetables, Herbs, Lemon and Toasted Nuts

Vegetables: Seasonal & Storage Produce

*Roasted Root Vegetables: Beets, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots & Onions with NJ Cranberries
Braised Collards and Kale Two Ways: Vegetarian and with Smoked Turkey


Shaved NJ Apple and Orange Salad with NJ Honey

*Poster for selected menu items will detail recipe for four servings, blue/green water use, emissions, time for preparation, planning requirements, human nutrition benefits and cost at the supermarket.

Changing climate, changing appetites: Conference on Feb 17!

This piece gets at the subject of our one-day food conference coming up on Friday, Feb 17 on campus, Changing Climate, Changing Appetites. More details and registration to come, but please do mark your calendar and plan to stay for the day for panels discussions (heavy on the Q&A!) that explore behavioral science and how we change our appetites, secrets of making these foods delicious and crave-worthy (from land to kitchen), the role of marketing and advertising in the effort and the power and politics of the food/ag sector. There will be a delicious lunch for those registered; sessions will build on each other. The event is open to the public.

With that in mind, please do click through and read this whole piece from the Atlantic – and begin compiling your questions for Feb 17!

From the essay: Large-scale animal agriculture has become a primary driver of climate change. We are eating and producing much more meat than ever before. The human population is on pace to hit 10 billion by the middle of the century; that’s 10 times as many people as there were in 1800. When we find a way to grow delicious red meat in petri dishes, then we can discuss exactly how much is healthy to eat. For now, the only way forward for our species seems to be to consider meat as something closer to a delicacy.

…The most common January undertaking in “new year, new you,” is dietary—shifting the actual molecules that fuel everything we do. Most of us will fail to meaningfully change, and then feel only more inadequate in that failure.

We fail because absurd goals can never be maintained, and because sometimes our own bodies (partly the way we were born, but mostly the way we’ve trained them to demand constant supplies of simple carbohydrates and insulin) make it almost impossible not to fail—to live without feeling deprived and hungry and joyless.

Maybe most important, many people fail when they don’t truly believe in what they’re doing. The gratification of sugar is immediate, and the idea of a paralyzing stroke decades hence is remote. It seems there are more important things to worry about right now.

…Changing the way we eat is a major change. It will involve multiple decisions every day. Presumably our old habits existed for reasons—convenience, enjoyment, availability, cost, marketing, etc. Modifying the habits that these conditions created means hard work and requires dedication to a cause. I’m not convinced that concern for the health of our bodies years in the future is sufficient.

I’m not even sure the promise of modifying our appearances is enough. The neurologist Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning that the key is to avoid the temptation to pursue happiness—like that being sold to us through all of the new-year deals—but to pursue meaning. Piles of research have shown that a sense of purpose is a central to long, healthy life.

There’s purpose to be had in how we eat—in how conscientious we can be, how minimally we can disrupt the world for those that will come after us and those working to produce and procure our food. I think this is a sustainable and worthy resolution for a healthier way to eat, if you’re intent on making one. It works for the mind and body at once, and, most importantly, not just our own.


What’s on your breakfast plate?

Ran across an interesting piece on USDA from Tom Vilsack, the department’s head. From that piece, a quote about breakfast:

USDA researchers have made discoveries that prove eating a protein-rich breakfast increases the brain’s level of dopamine, a chemical that helps reduce food cravings and overeating later in the day. USDA scientists recorded brain electrical activity during the performance of mental arithmetic in children and found that those who ate breakfast were more efficient at solving math problems than those who did not.

If you’re looking to push past mid-morning sluggishness and step lightly on the planet, opt for plant-based protein-rich foods: quinoa, edamame, beans & legumes including peanut butter, wild rice, nuts and also processed items including tofu, tempeh and seitan (more info from Prevention magazine here and here). Eggs and dairy (Greek yogurt) pack a protein punch too.

Save the date: Friday, Feb 17!

DSC05108.JPGWe’re currently planning our third Princeton Studies Food conference for Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 and are using as a blueprint Tim Searchinger’s recent report, Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future (PDF), from the World Resources Institute. We’ll be looking at ways to effect behavioral change, specifically, reducing consumption of industrially produced beef – and what to eat instead.

Each of the participants – panelists and moderator — will speak for 3-5 minutes, and hold to 3-4 slides; the rest of the panel time will be devoted to Q&A. It’s a format we’ve found to be highly engaging and exciting.

Our draft conference agenda could change, but as of now, the panels are roughly:
1. What’s the current situation
2. How to change minds
3. How to facilitate a shift in behavior via supporting systems
4. How to change the menu (lunch & learn!!)
5. How to change policy

Last year’s conference was SRO at Dodds Auditorium; we’re expecting the same level of interest for this gathering as well.

Check back here for updates as they develop.

Applying ecosystems lessons to human-made systems

In the Christian Science Monitor, Professor Simon Levin poses the question: What can Mother Nature teach us about managing financial systems?

Like ecosystems, financial markets are complex evolving systems from which unexpected bubbles, crashes, and other surprising behaviors can emerge. Building resilient financial systems may require policymakers to take cues from biology.

More from the story:

Just as an ecosystem ecologist is focused on the cycling of crucial elements like carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, so too might a “financial ecologist” focus on the sustainable cycling of crucial elements like capital, labor, and financial innovation.

Read the piece by Levin, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, here.