Center Opening Features Lecture by Jack Kloppenburg on “Resolving the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Eating Pleasurably and Sustainably in the 21st Century.”

Jack Koppenburg lecture, photo by Christine Style

On Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 5:00 pm in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 208, an overflow crowd heard Dr. Kloppenburg, Professor of Rural Sociology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, describe his work promoting local and regional food production. His lecture was followed by a reception and brief presentation by Lynn Walter on why we developed the Center for Food in Community and Culture at the University of Wisconsin.

At the opening reception, Christine Style presented a slide show of images of food and agriculture.

Lynn Walter explained why we established the Center for Food in Community and Culture at UW-Green Bay.

  1. The problems of the agrifood system are multifaceted—from issues of food insecurity in poorer and in wealthier countries to environmental crises such as water shortages and soil loss that impact agriculture, to food safety concerns and worries about the hazards of pesticides, and to obesity and disordered eating.  As specialists in particular disciplines, we have been trained to focus intently on one of these problems, sometimes overlooking its critical connection to the others.  A research center that brings together experts of food issues from many disciplines will encourage us to explore these linkages.
  2. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, which has as its core mission the promotion of interdisciplinary education, is fertile ground for such a center.  Its campus-wide environmental focus is most helpful in bringing together scholars whose own research goals coincide with an ecological and holistic approach to the study of food.
  3. We have broad faculty with interest in agrifood research from nursing and psychology; nutritional and environmental sciences; literature and art; economics, geography, and anthropology. Another of our associates is a nutritional specialist from Brown County Extension.
  4. The interdisciplinary richness of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and its environmental focus can promote synergy—a positively enhancing feedback loop—between various research interests and projects.
  5. Northeast Wisconsin is a region with a strong economic base in food production, a rich set of  food traditions (from brats and booyah to corn soup and eggrolls), and a growing number of farmers, restaurateurs, and other local businesses interested in ways to promote environmental soundness, human and animal well-being, and sustainable development of food and agriculture.