Summer 2016

Feed the World, But Feed It Well

Groundbreaking agricultural scientist headlines 2016 commencement

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From left are Diane Candiotto, Julianne Burkholder, Jensine Yang and David Grist. Photo: Shamit Sthankiya

Keeping agricultural production on pace with the growing global population is no longer the biggest food challenge we face, commencement speaker Pedro A. Sanchez told 115 graduates and their guests at the 35th graduation ceremony of the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, held on May 22 on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus.

“The world will be able to feed itself by 2050. It ain’t going to be easy, it won’t happen everywhere, but I think the path is very clear,” said Sanchez, director of the Agriculture and Food Security Center at Columbia University’s Earth Institute who is widely recognized for changing the way technology is used to increase food production. “But whether the people in the world are going to be nutritionally secure and sound by 2050 is largely up to you.”

Sanchez, the 2002 World Food Prize laureate and 2004 MacArthur Fellow, said this is a “fantastic time” to be a nutrition professional. “Get in there and do your thing,” he said.

In his charge to the graduates, Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the school, said that small actions and choices, sewn together, drive the world: “Small choices about what to buy at the grocery store; small choices by industry that lead to healthier, more sustainable food systems; small choices by governments that empower women and livelihoods; small actions that lead to breakfast for a low-income child, improving their attention and learning on that day; small actions that lead to the acceptance of differences, the celebration of diversity and social justice.”

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