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Gather Film and Panel

January 20, 2021

Written by Jane Coghlan; Edited by Gabriel Sheppard

“When you have food sovereignty, you’re free to be self-reliant, to grow your own food, to choose the foods you want to eat, choose the foods you want to put in school systems, and really be self-sustaining or sustainable.”

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Wednesday from Washington: Tackling advocacy with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

June 17, 2020

This blog post was written by Arizona State University graduate student Liz Broussard. In addition to studying Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership at ASU, Liz serves as a project coordinator at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), where she supports the Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative, a network of organizations working to improve access to healthy food and transform Mississippi food systems.

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Wednesdays from Washington: Agricultural research with Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young

June 10, 2020

This blog post was written by Arizona State University graduate student Dr. Angel Cruz. In addition to studying Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership at ASU, Angel is the academic and extension initiatives manager at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) at NC State University where she champions sustainable ag education and career development across North Carolina. 

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Wednesdays from Washington: Talking science with Dr. Mike Stebbins

May 27, 2020

This blog post was written by Arizona State University graduate student Alaine Janosy. In addition to studying Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership at ASU, Alaine works as an independent sustainability consultant specializing in agricultural production systems and procurement. Through this work Alaine engages with companies to create, enable and expand strategies that drive adoption of regenerative farming practices.

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Think you know lettuce, think again: Revelations from a visit to the winter salad bowl

May 1, 2020

As we enter our first stretch of 100 degree days, we here at the Swette Center are reminiscing back to the cool, crisp mornings of the winter.  On one of those mornings the ASU grad leadership cohort had the pleasure of visiting several farms in the Yuma area.  While many of these operations have packed up for their yearly transition to the summer season in Salinas, CA we can’t help but notice the stark contrast between our present COVID-19 reality and the relative calm of December. 

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Engrained: A Model for Sustainable Dining at ASU

April 28, 2020

As we begin the final week of the spring semester it is interesting to reflect on the stark contrast between this year and the final week of classes from years past.  This year the campus is unusually quiet; the library carrels are empty, the lawns are vacant, and few footsteps are heard in the halls.  While no-one can predict what the fall will bring, we are hoping that it brings back students and the bustle of student activity that charges our vibrant campus. 

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Got Milk? A Visit to Arizona’s Kerr Family Dairy

April 22, 2020

As we post this blog, we are witnessing devastation in the dairy industry brought about by the COVID19 pandemic. Wes Kerr and his family are struggling to survive, as are dairy farmers across the country. It is heartbreaking.  The United Dairymen of Arizona sent a letter to USDA stating that this is the biggest market crash the industry has seen in 60 years and, without timely and significant support, many dairies will not survive. More on what’s going on with the Kerr Family Farm and dairies in Arizona can be found in this 4/17/20 article in West Valley View.

-Note from Swette Center Director Kathleen Merrigan

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Deliciously sustainable: A visit to Tucson's Senae Thai Bistro

April 9, 2020

Thai style fish entree

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues spread across the globe and around the U.S., the restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard. Stay-at-home orders have decimated these establishments, forcing many talented small-business owners to move to reduced hours, lay off staff members, or close outright. Fortunately, for the time being some businesses, such as Senae featured below, have been able to continue offering food for take-out and delivery. If you live in the Tucson area, consider ordering from Senae today! Or, wherever you are, remember to keep supporting local businesses and restaurants. 

This blog post was written by Arizona State University graduate student Alaine Janosy. In addition to studying Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership at ASU, Alaine works as an independent sustainability consultant specializing in agricultural production systems and procurement. Through this work Alaine engages with companies to create, enable and expand strategies that drive adoption of regenerative farming practices.

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Feeding the hungry: A day with the United Food Bank

March 31, 2020

Students packaging food. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe and the U.S., more and more Americans are facing food insecurity. Now more than ever, organizations like United Food Bank  and other Feeding America members are critical to ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry — but they can't do it alone. Please consider donating your time, talent, or treasure here, and together we can weather this crisis! 

This blog post was written by Arizona State University graduate student Liz Broussard. In addition to studying Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership at ASU, Liz serves as a project coordinator at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), where she supports the Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative, a network of organizations working to improve access to healthy food and transform Mississippi food systems.   

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Letter to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

March 6, 2020

By Kathleen Merrigan, executive director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University, and professor with appointments in the School of Sustainability, College of Health Solutions, and School of Public Affairs

Today a letter was sent to government leaders charged with developing the next iteration of the DGAs – Dietary Guidelines for Americans, an activity undertaken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services every five years. I am a signatory on this letter and believe that it is past time for sustainability criteria to be integrated into dietary guidance. I will let the letter speak for itself.

Read the organizational letter submitted to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on March 4, 2020 here.