Understanding the globalization of food

Understanding the complex processes that put food on the table across the world is vital to our ability to benefit from modern globalization and to minimize the systemic risk associated with the interconnected world. A conversation with Miguel Centeno, who leads the Global Systemic Risk Research Community at PIIRS.

– Misha, Spoon University


Nancy Easton ’88, changing lives with food

Those of us at Spoon University seek to foster the appreciation of food on campus and around the community. Just as important is recognizing efforts on a broader level that foster healthy eating as well as lifestyles, and Princeton alumna Nancy Easton ’88 has dedicated much of her life to doing just this. Nancy participated in founding Wellness in the Schools in 2005, and has been recognized by various organizations and well-known chefs such as Jamie Oliver….Wellness in the Schools seeks to promote healthy eating and living, specifically targeting youth in the public school system.

Initially launched in just three schools, the program is now in at least fifty schools. Wellness in the Schools continues to partner with various teachers, chefs, parents, and students to create this organization, which offers programs and opportunities for kids in public schools to access and learn about healthy food, the environment, fitness, and more. Wellness in the Schools currently aids “approximately 30,000 public school children in New York City, Kentucky, and Florida.” Two of the biggest Wellness in the Schools initiatives are Cook for Kids and Coach for Kids. The first program is a “hands-on food program” and the second is a fitness program. First Lady Michelle Obama ’85 has nationally recognized the Cook for Kids program. Read a Q&A with Nancy Easton here.

– Julie Goldstein, Spoon University


Releasing spring food guilt

Why do we eat popsicles and ice cream in the summer, catch onto extreme pumpkin and cinnamon craze in the fall, and then eat rich chocolate peppermint bark in the winter? It’s not just because as the seasons change we get cold and therefore eat richer food. Our seasonal tastes are sentimental as well as pragmatic, and it’s this sentimentality that makes eating so enjoyable. Food relates directly to memory and nostalgia: smells trigger memories, and 75 percent of our taste comes from smell. When we eat food we many times remember something associated with a particular dish. It’s that thought process behind food that makes eating whimsical and enjoyable….Read about ways to make spring food memories that will still give us the results we crave without jeopardizing our foodie joy…here.

– Lara Norgaard, Spoon University


Passover, behind the scenes

At Princeton, Passover is a big event….From the Center for Jewish Life to the eating clubs, from the home of President Eisgruber to Chabad, seders happen all over campus. I had the wonderful opportunity to go behind the scenes of Chabad’s seder. Rabbi Eitan and Gitty Webb were so kind as to give me a sneak peek of the seder setup and the food preparation, as well as a rundown of some of the traditional Jewish customs at Chabad, which works to educate the campus about Judaism and offer opportunities for all campus members to participate in Jewish services, learning, meals, and other traditions. Read more here.

– Julie Goldstein, Spoon University



Learning the art of latte

All of us coffee drinkers have consumed countless lattes with designs in our foam, but it takes a true coffee aficionado to pause and fully consider the quality of the design….The baristas who make our drinks, however, not only think about their designs, but they also compete with them. Read about the competition and lessons learned here.

– Lara Norgaard, Spoon University


Finding quinoa on campus

Julie Goldstein writes about quinoa (keen-wah), which she has found in good supply at dining sites across campus:

“Quinoa has proven to be one of the biggest food trends of the 21st century. Although its popularity may be associated with the recent decades, this grain has been around for quite some time. The cultivation of quinoa can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Andes in South America, with its use as a food source starting around 4000 BCE….The grain is known to have a high nutritional value, containing all the essential amino acids along with particularly high concentrations of protein. Quinoa also has significant amounts of iron and zinc, and is a good source of dietary fiber.” Read more, and see pictures of quinoa dishes here.

– Julie Goldstein, Spoon University


Springing into spring with Whole Earth Center natural foods market

Whole Earth Center, a grocery/café-deli hybrid just past Harrison Street on Nassau, contains rows and rows of my favorite natural snacks, a variety of all organic produce, freshly baked bread and cookies, and even natural medicines. It’s also a nut-butter-lover’s heaven. If you’re independent and looking for some healthy, environmentally friendly ingredients, this store has plenty of options. Read more here.
-Lara Norgaard, Spoon University