Skip to main content

West campus events celebrate 'Much Ado About Food'


September 19, 2010

During October, the ThinK (Thursdays in Kiva) series at Arizona State University’s West campus continues with three speakers who will lead provocative discussions related to the topic “Much Ado About Food.” Events are free and open to the public (visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour) and are held in the Kiva Lecture Hall, in the Sands Classroom Building at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

“Much Ado About Food” ties in with academic programming on campus during the current academic year. Over the summer all incoming West campus freshmen read Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food.”

The October schedule of events is:

October 7, 6 p.m. – Lecture and discussion: “Vital Politics: Challenges to Food Sustainability, Access and Quality,” with Majia Holmer Nadesan

This presentation offers an introduction to the politics of life involved in food production, food sustainability and food capitalization. Those industrial practices that have made food widely available for Westerners are now challenged by looming resource scarcities. Additionally, contemporary food production chains and processes are beset with quality concerns and are ineffectual in eliminating growing global hunger. Indeed, food scarcity is now a derivatives game played by the world’s wealthiest speculators. Recognizing and addressing these challenges is necessary for an abundant and healthy future.

Holmer Nadesan is a professor of communication in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

October 14, 6 p.m. – Lecture and discussion: “Food Environment and Sustainability,” with Christopher Wharton

Wharton will examine the effect of the food environment on the health of individuals and the health of the environment. Over the years, Wharton has worked on a number of food policy-related projects, including collaborative work with the directors of Yale’s Sustainable Food Project. The Project manages an organic farm on campus and runs diverse programs that support exploration and academic inquiry related to food and agriculture. Wharton focused his work at Yale on food policy and the extent to which individuals have access to healthy foods in a variety of environments.

Wharton is as assistant professor in ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation.

October 21, 6 p.m. – Lecture and discussion: “Big Fat Myths,” with Alexandra Brewis Slade

Using the last two decades of her own research and the studies of experts around the world, Brewis Slade will discuss how many of our current attitudes about and approaches to solving the "obesity problem" are challenged by evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives. As part of her research, Brewis Slade focuses on better understanding  the causes and consequences of the high rates of obesity that are now apparent in most world regions, such as understanding how the stigma surrounding obesity adds to the stresses of being overweight.

Brewis Slade is a professor and the executive director of ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Additional ThinK series events will be held throughout the remainder of the fall semester on ASU’s West campus. For more information, visit http://muchadoaboutfood.asu.edu/.