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Stanford researchers seek interdisciplinary solutions to food-related problems


Researchers from all seven of the university's schools came together this week for the inaugural Stanford Food Summit to discuss top food questions in their fields and explore collaborative efforts to address them.

More than 350 members of the campus community and public attended the daylong gathering to hear presentations on fields ranging from education to engineering to medicine and participate in research-development workshops aimed at turning academic ideas into concrete proposals.

In her presentation on food ethics, Debra Satz, PhD, senior associate dean for the humanities and arts, spoke about the social responsibility tied to our everyday eating habits. She said in a release:

In many cases our food choices as individuals and in aggregate matter for other people ... Others subsidize rising health costs if we choose poor diets; the food industry contributes to climate change; and the food consumption patterns of average American households are likely not to be sustainable for the whole world ... This all forces us to think differently about food choices. The ethics of food consumption is complex, and competing values are at stake - autonomy, equity and well-being.

Food summit organizers are now working to establish a regular seminar series where experts can address topics raised at the event.

Photo by Norbert von der Groeben

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