Food & Society Initiative: Past Projects

Citizen Panel on the Future of Food in New England

The 2003 Citizen Panel on the Future of Food in New England was part of a two-year project to increase civic discourse around food and justice. The project was built upon the first-year Just Food Citizen Panel. The Citizen Panel on the Future of Food in New England culminated in a three-day public conference in which a panel of experts testified on the future of food in New England. A set of findings and recommendations was issued by the panel for use by other citizens, local, state and federal policymakers, educators, and the food industry. 

Food Culture and the Meaning of Eating Exhibit

Food Culture and the Meaning of Eating was a 17’x30’ exhibit on display on the third floor of the UNH Memorial Union Building. The exhibit ran from Fall 2004 to Fall 2006. Through the use of photographs, text, interactive computer displays, and books, the exhibit revealed the complex interactions and implications the act of eating food has on our lives. Themes such as farming, harvesting, transportation, food preparation, eating, and culture provided frameworks for better understanding the linkages among these themes that exist from seed to table. The purpose of the exhibit was to raise awareness about our food system and to inform exhibit viewers of actions they could take to help create a more sustainable food and agriculture system.

Just Food Citizen Panel on Genetically Engineered Food

The Just Food Citizen Panel on Genetically Engineered Food was part of a two-year project to increase civic discourse around food and justice. The public consensus conference took place February 7-9, 2002, on the UNH Durham campus, and featured thirteen New Hampshire citizens in moderated discussion with seven experts. The citizens developed recommendations for managing genetically engineered foods: the Just Food Citizen Panel Recommendations for Managing Genetically Engineered Foods.

Northeast Farms to Food Update

In collaboration with the Northeast Small Farm Working Group (NESAWG), the UNH sustainability program updated the Northeast Farms to Food report in 2004. The report contains information and data necessary for the region’s leaders, citizens, educators and activists to better understand the food system. In 2006, we again collaborated with NESAWG, as well as Food Solutions New England (then the NH Center for a Food Secure Future) and the Northeast Midwest Institute to create a 2006 update focused on the farm bill.

Soul of Agriculture Conferences

The UNH sustainability program hosted four Soul of Agriculture Conferences - 2004 ("Healthy Farms, Healthy People: Making the Agriculture-Nutrition Link"), 2003 ("Northeast Food System at the Crossroads”), 2002 ("New Movements in New England Food and Farming"), and 2001 ("New Movements in New England Food and Farming"). The conferences convened representatives from nutrition (including dieticians and health educators), food service professionals, chefs, teachers, and agriculture and food representatives, including farmers, Cooperative Extension professionals, and others, to explore how concerns for healthy nutrition and healthy agriculture can be integrated to establish common goals across farm, food, and health communities.