Reunions 2016: If you eat, this panel is for you!

Please join us for our Reunions Weekend panel, Princeton Entrepreneurs: Designing the Future for Food, on Friday, May 27, from 10:30 to noon, in Frist Campus Center 302.

The panel – free & open to the public – will be moderated by Tim Searchinger, co-founder of Princeton Studies Food. Gordon Douglas MD ‘55 and co-founder, Princeton Studies Food, will introduce the panel and the panelists and briefly discuss the work of our council.

The panel will be organized around panelists’ actions that are connected to recommendations in Searchinger’s latest World Resources Institute report, “Shifting Diets for a More Sustainable Food Future.”

Click here for more information about Reunions 2016.

Here’s our updated Future for Food panel biographies:

Timothy 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.” Reach him at

Gordon 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. Reach him at

David 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. Reach him at

Reuwai 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. She 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. Reach her at

Alexander Lorestani ’15 is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gelzen. Gelzen is a synthetic biology company that engineers and manufactures proteins for use in food and cosmetic products. Prior to his work at Gelzen, Alexander was an MD/PhD candidate at the Rutgers University-Princeton University Physician-Scientist Training Program. He studied medicine at Rutgers University and microbiology at Princeton University. Alexander’s focus was on infectious diseases, specifically antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Before becoming an MD/PhD candidate, Alex studied cell biology as an undergraduate at Boston College. Alex has a passion for translating discoveries forged through high-quality basic research into tools that can be used to improve the lives of others. Reach him at

Shana Weber is founding director of Princeton’s Office of Sustainability, which opened its doors in 2006. She comes to the sustainability field with a background in ecology, climate science research, teaching and communications. Current research interests periodically take her to the mountains of the American West, but the bulk of her work focuses on helping Princeton University become an exemplar of sustainable practices, campus-as-lab research, and education. Weber also serves as President of the NJ Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability, and administrative sponsor for the NE Campus Sustainability Consortium. Reach her at shanaw@Princeton.EDU

Dietary shifts for environmental sustainability

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Tim Searchinger

Tim Searchinger

“Creating a Sustainable Food Future (installment 11) shows that for people who consume high amounts of meat and dairy, shifting to diets with a greater share of plant-based foods could significantly reduce agriculture’s pressure on the environment.” Read more at the WRI and download the PDF from the link below. Thanks to author Timothy Searchinger, research scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy and lecturer for Princeton Environmental Institute and World Resources Institute fellow. Don’t miss the Protein Scorecard, which ranks foods from lowest (plant-based foods) to highest impact (beef), as well as the Shift Wheel, which harnesses proven marketing and behavior change strategies to help move billions of people to more sustainable diets.

Salts of the earth: A tasting at PU Farmers’ Market

IMG_0022SSD poster copyPlease join students of FRS 138: Science, Society & Dinner for a salt tasting and talk about food systems study at the Princeton University Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, April 20, from 12:30 to 1:30.

Market-goers will sample Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse grass-fed butter slathered atop slices of the Rustic Loaf, with two to three varieties of salt from Savory Spice Shop in downtown Princeton.

Students will be available to discuss their experience of the class, now in its first semester as a Freshman Seminar.

Students also will have readings available for perusal from the course list, many of which are on the shelf at Labyrinth Bookstore, or online there, including Kitchen LiteracyJust Food, and On Food and Cooking. Not on the reading list, but germane: Salt: A World History.IMG_6253 (1)IMG_6897

Farm to Fork shrinks to a few steps

Rozalie Czesana '18, at work planting microgreens seeds in the Urban Cultivator. (Photo by Sarah Salati Bavuso, Campus Dining Services)

Rozalie Czesana ’18, at work planting microgreens seeds in the Urban Cultivator. (Photo by Sarah Salati Bavuso, Campus Dining Services)

Seedlings at 4 days!

Seedlings at 4 days!

IMG_4915Thanks to Rozalie Czesana ’18 and to Campus Dining Services, customers at Frist’s Cafe Vivian may soon be treated to tastes of intensely local basil, kale, peas, broccoli and radish microgreens.

Czesana, with Sarah Salati Bavuso of CDS, planted seeds in the Urban Cultivator, a hydroponic garden system about the size of a wardrobe, in hopes of growing the leafy greens, but also to encourage conversation on sustainable food systems.

“Small-scale indoor agriculture has the potential to contribute to feeding entire communities when implemented on larger scale,” says Czesana, citing AeroFarms as an example.

See Czesana’s piece that CDS published here (thanks to Sarah and the team!). See the YouTube video on growing basil here.

Class for beginner cooks

Nicholas Wu

Nicholas Wu

Real World Princeton, a part of the Undergraduate Student Government organization, is pairing with the Cooking Club, Murray-Dodge Cafe and Dining Services to offer workshops for undergraduates who are beginner cooks. Subjects include how to pick groceries, safely prepare food, and construct a meal on a budget.

The workshops will be taught by Nicholas Wu ’18 at the Fields Center Kitchen and are organized by Cailin Hong, USG representative and Paul Yang ’17, Cooking Club president.

On Sunday, participants made asparagus and pasta. On Wednesday, April 20, Wu will teach participants how to make lentil soup and salmon. Class is from 4:30-6pm. Space is limited to 12 participants per session; sign up here. For more information, write Cailin Hong,

Co-founders profiled for work around food study on campus

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 10.44.15 PMEfforts of Gordon Douglas MD ’55 and Sheila Mahoney S’55 were spotlighted in a recent Giving profile from the Office of Development. From the piece:

As a retired physician and professor of medicine, Gordon Douglas ’55 has long known about the links between diet and catastrophic illnesses such as stroke and heart disease. His own bout with high cholesterol prompted him to stop eating meat, which solved the problem and made him think more deeply about food and health. And then he audited an ethics course with his wife, Sheila Mahoney, which graphically illuminated the treatment of animals in large industrial farms. “It turned my world around,” said Mahoney.

Global issues around food production—from CO2 emissions to loss of biodiversity—became a deep interest for Gordon and Sheila. They discovered that there were some Princeton researchers studying aspects of food who didn’t know about each other’s research.

The couple became a driving force behind the creation of Princeton Studies Food, a coalition of faculty, researchers, students, alumni, staff, and community members tackling the challenge of feeding the world’s people while preserving the Earth and its resources.


Read the profile here. For more information about the Office of Development, click here.