Mission and Goals

Princeton Studies Food is an interdisciplinary alliance of scholars, students and practitioners that leverages academic examination of complex systems of the food system and celebrates the community of the table that develops from practical application of that study.

The alliance grew out of the founders’ research and expertise in the field, a shared desire to establish a program of inclusive food systems study and its practical application, an awareness of unmet needs of students, and appreciation of robust efforts at peer institutions.

It coalesced in the weeks following a standing-room-only conference on food system studies in 2014.

The group thinks globally and works locally: How does society in 2050 sustainably nourish 9.2 billion within constraints of climate change and the competing needs of water, land and energy/biofuels? How do you change appetites? How do we return to valuing food? How do the low-resource, high-nutrition foods become the food we crave over burgers and fries? How do you change minds? How can we use society’s obsession with food and the intimate — and universal — pleasure of it to build stewardship for natural systems that support all life?


Maintain and grow an interdisciplinary and inclusive alliance of scholars and quality-conscious practitioners who help to develop, implement and advance examination of food systems and relevant complex systems while nurturing the community and connections of the table.


We envision Princeton Studies Food as hub that:

  • supports teaching and practical application;
  • supports and publicizes research around food and climate, policy and interrelated complex systems;
  • produces a yearly conference, as well as series’ of talks, films, demonstrations, tastings and dinners;
  • connects students to professionals in the field through Career Services;
  • expands engagement of scholars and students from other institutions and foundations; and
  • maintains and expands a robust outreach effort.


  • Strengthen and expand the current research program to support two to three faculty and graduate students in food systems studies.
  • Build on existing coursework to develop core curricula that lead to a program in food systems studies
  • Support connections between science, policy and humanities departments in food systems studies.
  • Use gastronomy as experiential academic tool and for building community.
  • Using alumni and community resources, demonstrate viability of career choices in food.
  • Provide analyses for key policies on food systems.
  • Link students, faculty, scholars and alumni with joint food work through conferences, seminars, lectures, films, workshops, and with actual food – grown, harvested, prepared, shared, donated and studied.
  • Actively involve the university and the Princeton community in campus as lab opportunities.
  • Fully and effectively engage alumni in all aspects of the program as teachers and learners.