Open forum to discuss ideas for a new food studies institute at Miami

An open forum to discuss the creation of a new food studies institute at Miami University is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in 128 Pearson Hall. The Miami community is invited to learn more about the project.

The establishment of a food studies institute will occur over a three-year period, funded by a $200,000 Innovation and Interdisciplinary Program grant from Miami’s provost office. Directors of the program are Peggy Shaffer, associate professor of history and American studies, and Alfredo J. Huerta, associate professor of biology.

According to Huerta, the long-term goals of the institute are to establish the following:

• A university organic permaculture and garden production facility and experiential education center.

• Establishment of internships for high school and university students interested in learning about sustainable food production.

• An interdisciplinary food studies curriculum with the creation of a food studies minor.

• Community workshops and short courses covering topics such as organic food production, agricultural sustainability, agroecology, soil conservation, writing about food, food and human nutrition, etc.

• Collaborative research focused on food issues.

• Greater awareness of the centrality of food in relation to individual health, social identity, global exchange and engagement and environmental sustainability.

The Innovation and Interdisciplinary Program awarded seven project grants in 2015. See the complete list of recipients online.