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February 22, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Food Studies | Students Tout Interdisciplinary Nature and Common Purpose

Food studies graphic, with outlines of eggplant, tomato, corn, etc.

The Food Studies theme recently held a focus group to engage the student perspective. Participants shared vibrant stories of how they found their way to the program, often being lead through their personal interests in food and health.

After saying the best part of the program is director Dr. Theresa Moran, the students agreed they love the interdisciplinary nature of it, allowing them to meet students and engage in classes from across campus. This blend of interests is what really holds the group together because everyone’s personal experiences and goals all lay in one common theme of food, no matter how diverse.

“Other student groups or programs may be driven apart by their differences, but the interdisciplinary nature of Food Studies really holds us together. It’s empowering to see students support each other in unique ways,” says  Food Studies alumni and Food and Society Certificate recipient, Alexandria Polanosky.

Students harvest chenopodium at the Plant Biology Learning Gardens, where Dr. Paul Patton is growing the ancient grain.

Students harvest chenopodium at the Plant Biology Learning Gardens, where Dr. Paul Patton is growing the ancient grain.

In the upcoming years for Food Studies, students really want to see growth in the program and a more visible presence around campus. This includes more student involvement and a wider range of course offerings, such as a Plant Biology course in permaculture. Conversation in the focus group surrounded the desire for more students to realize how prevalent food is in every major or academic field. It has a role in everything from economics to nutrition to history, and can be used as a unifying force between students.

From left, Jack Demain, Joy Kostansek, Dr. Art Trese, and Jules Collins with the final harvest for the fall 2017 Grover Market Sales.

From left, Jack Demain, Joy Kostansek, Dr. Art Trese, and Jules Collins with the final harvest for the fall 2017 Grover Market Sales.

Included in the growth of the program would be a central Food Studies space, allowing students to spend more communal time together in a shared area. This could be used as a hub to share information and resources and have access to faculty members—something that could be invaluable to such a broad and interdisciplinary program.

Food Studies is always looking for new ways to engage and collaborate. If you are interested in working with us or joining the program, please contact the director, Moran, at morant@ohio.edu or the assistant, Joy Kostansek, at jk985814@ohio.edu.

Food Matters club hosts Live Your Truth, Ground Your Being With Laura and Jimmie Henricks in November 2017. Photo taken from back of room.

Food Matters club hosts Live Your Truth, Ground Your Being With Laura and Jimmie Henricks in November 2017.

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