Alum previews FLORA grant work in lecture for Bradford Seminar Series

Information from PU and University College London:

Carole Dalin

“Carole Dalin, Associate Professor in Sustainable Food Systems, and the Research Director of the Institute for Sustainable Resources at University College London, recently presented information on environmental sustainability indicators for global food production, as part of the David Bradford Energy and Environmental Policy Seminar Series.

“Dalin, who in 2014 earned her PU Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering & Water Resources with Prof Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe and her Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy with Prof Denise Mauzerall, just received funding from the European Research Council to lead the FLORA project (“Sustainable and healthy food solutions: system dynamics and trade-offs”) as a 5-year Starting Grant, beginning in 2022.

“The ambitious scientific goals of this inter-disciplinary project are to help find effective solutions for sustainable food systems worldwide. It will enable Dr Dalin to recruit three postdoctoral researchers and one doctoral student with different scientific expertise, from environmental, health, and data sciences to economics.

“Dalin joined UCL in 2016 with a 5-year Independent Research Fellowship, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. Her fellowship research focused on the environmental sustainability of global food production and trade. Her research group works on this theme, with particular interests in water resources, biodiversity and climate change.”

PU expands food systems study

From the Princeton Studies Food archives: Building flavor with hands-on cooking lessons that illustrate and amplify interdisciplinary lectures for the introductory Science, Society & Dinner course.

Food is connected to almost every academic subject, as illustrated by the array of food-related courses available for Spring 2022, and the Food and Environment Initiative from High Meadows Environmental Institute.

From the web page:

“The Food and the Environment Initiative seeks to develop practical solutions to the great environmental challenge of feeding a projected global population of 10 billion people by 2050. The scale and complexity of this problem encompasses issues related to the demand for arable land, limited water supplies, nutrient and pollution management, soil-carbon dynamics, the loss of biodiversity, and the acceleration of climate change.

Research and teaching activities under this initiative seek to address these problems by focusing on topics such as nutrient cycling and soil biogeochemistry; the conservation, sanitation and delivery of water; the prevention of greenhouse gas emissions; the preservation and promotion of biodiversity; and balancing land use between food production and other uses, including biofuels.”

Food-related ENV courses for the Spring 2022 semester that may count toward the Food and Environment Focus within the General Track for the ENV certificate for undergraduates (verify with HMEI): American Agrarians: Ideas of Land, Labor, and Food; Water, Engineering and Civilization; Economics of Food and Agriculture; Topics in Environmental Studies: Hormone-Disrupting Pollutants; Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton; other relevant offerings: Creative Ecologies: American Environmental Narrative and Art, 1980-2020; Behavioral Ecology; Global Health, Food Security, and the Environment: An Introduction to One Health Policy; The Literature of Gastronomy; Food, Drugs and Society; and The Future of Food; Water, Engineering, and Civilization; Topics in the Formal Analysis of the Urban Structure: Environmental Challenges of Urban Sprawl; The Science of Roman History; Fundamentals of Biofuels; History of Ecology and Environmentalism; The Visible Wild; and Practical Models for Environmental Systems.

New director for High Meadows Environmental Institute

Professor Gabriel Vecchi

The High Meadows Environmental Institute, formerly Princeton Environmental Institute, has a new director: Gabriel Vecchi. Prof Vecchi, of Geosciences, is interested in climate science; extreme weather events; hurricanes; mechanisms of precipitation variability and change; ocean-atmosphere interaction; detection and attribution. He replaces Michael A Celia, whose term ended June 30, 2021. Professor Celia, during his term, created a Food and Environment Focus within the general track for the undergraduate ENV certificate.

New partnership with Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to examine diet, metabolism as prevention & treatment

From the piece:

“Princeton is the home of a new branch of the @Ludwig_Cancer, an international community of distinguished scientists dedicated to preventing and controlling cancer.

“The Princeton branch will focus on three main areas: dietary strategies to prevent and treat cancer; how bodies inadvertently support tumor growth and metastasis; and the interplay between a patient’s metabolism, gut microbiome and anti-cancer immune response.

” ‘Diet is an overlooked therapeutic strategy that can help turn on immune response or work with classical drugs to make them work better,’ said Joshua Rabinowitz, director.

“Researchers plan to run diet trials that are scientifically rigorous and immediately beneficial to patients.’People know they need to stay nourished, but they get no detailed guidance,’ said Rabinowitz. ‘For example, a lot of patients are told to take fish oils, because fish oils are viewed as good fat. But there’s evidence that polyunsaturated fats like fish oils accelerate growth of certain tumors.’

“Princeton will be the first Ludwig location to focus on cancer metabolism, an area that Ludwig believes ‘holds considerable promise for the optimization of cancer prevention and therapy,’ said Chi Van Dang, the scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.”

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:

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 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.