Careers in Food Studies

Careers in Food Studies


One of the things I want to do after graduation is work within my local community. Enroll in a Ph.D. program. Do research in Latin America. Policy and creating policy. Administration of agriculture as a policy
officer. Working in planning. Journalism and being able to communicate. Sustainability officer. Food governance and also food justice. Eventually become a professor. Adrianne Traub: So, one of the reasons food
studies is becoming so popular is because people want to know where their food is coming
from. They want to learn about the farmers, they
want to learn about the system. And that’s part of the department here: looking
at it in a wholistic context. Rick Welsh: At Syracuse University, we take
a particular approach which looks at the political economy of food, especially policy aspects. But we also have working kitchens and three
professional chefs. So, part of our approach is to look at sustainable
food enterprise. Evan Weissman: We’re focused not just on those
moments where food is produced and consumed, but the connections between them. Briana Alfaro: One of the greatest things
about food studies is that there is so much fluidity in what you can study. There are just so many options that you’re
able to pave your own path. Anne Bellows: I like to introduce basic concepts
and then build those concepts around what interests people. We have an Indonesian graduate student who
works in the import-export of fresh fruits and vegetables into her country. Irma Nurliawati: Our main responsibility is
developing a policy for food safety and inspection at the border. That’s why I am very interested in studying
food policy and food governance. Anne Bellows: We don’t think about human right
to food and nutrition. It is a research framework that is being used
outside this country and I think it’s very important for students, for researchers to
understand this area more. Molly Ennist: In my graduate studies, I’m
doing a lot of research with Professor Anne Bellows and taking a human rights approach. It’s something that has been new to me and
I’ve found it really interesting. Evan Weissman: We are housed in a broader
department that includes public health and nutrition. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern: So, they have the
tight-knit community in food studies and this broader department that gives them lots of
different kinds of skills and exposure. Diane Lyden Murphy: All this is a planned
strategy to cross-talk, to cross-fertilize and do interdisciplinary work within these
professions so that we move them along. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern: We really encourage
a lot of students to double-major, to minor. Rick Welsh: We want students to pursue other
areas besides food studies, to develop more skills to help them be successful whatever
they decide to do. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern: And then to integrate
a practical way, we require most students to do a practicum. Elissa Johnson: Students have the opportunity
here to have someone, like myself, who is dedicated to reaching out to specific community
partners that have shared food systems goals and are working across the food studies sector. Rick Welsh: The food studies program works
with a diverse array of people and publics including farm workers, farmers, for-profit
businesses interested in food service, policymakers and organizations trying to implement policy,
including working with veterans and issues around veterans affairs. Diane Lyden Murphy: Successful internships
often lead to employment, because you are practicing the job. But, you’re doing in while your in college,
side-by-side with learning the theory. It’s an excellent way of learning. Elissa Johnson: I work with them to identify
their food studies interests, where they want to be working after they graduate. Anna Magnuson: I’m interning at the University
United Methodist Church food pantry. We have pantry every Friday from 10 to 12. I go in, help different people that are coming
through the pantry, also do stocking, just anything that needs help. I think it’s completely different when you’re
actually seeing it face-to-face in a hands-on way. Briana Alfaro: This summer I’ll be working
at an internship where I am helping advocate for urban agriculture and access to land. I had not planned on focusing on land rights
or land issues but that’s where my education here has really driven me and piqued my interest. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern: They can really tailor
their food studies major to something they’re specifically interested in and take advantage
whether it’s culinary interests, whether it’s advocacy interests, whether it’s food studies
and education or food studies and the law, there’s ways that they can build their own
experience before they graduate. Collin Townsend: Once I’m done here, I want
to continue on with higher education, enroll in a Ph.D. program and eventually become a
professor. Molly Ennist: I am not planning on doing a
Ph.D. I was hoping to get practical, real-world experience with my food studies major so I’m
planning on doing a practicum this summer. Evan Weissman: Most of our students are likely
to work directly in food-related industries. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern: Food and the law,
food and education, working for nonprofits, working for unions. Evan Weissman: A great deal of organizations
from large to small are engaging in food from a variety of angles. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern: Getting involved
in new food movements, like local food. Managing farmers markets, being involved in
the growth of nonprofits that are trying to do food systems work, local governance, establishing
things like food policy councils. Evan Weissman: And these are not fads. Consumers are now awoken to questions of food,
questions of what they’re putting in their body, questions of how those foods were produced,
and that’s creating new opportunities in large, traditional food industries. Rick Welsh: My goals are to have them understand
the food system on which we all depend, and if they are dissatisfied with it, try to change
it. Diane Lyden Murphy: Many people making a difference
and taking care of other is where the change is going to come from.

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