Tag: sustainable food (page 1 of 3)

Tufts Student Studies Sustainability and Food Systems in Italy

PERUGIA, Italy — “So many people told me that the most important thing I could do at Tufts would be to study abroad. Tufts really focuses on intercultural communication and awareness,” said Alex Cherry from his seat at a café in the center of Perugia, Italy. Alex is pursuing a Dual Major in International Relations and Environmental Studies at Tufts University, though he is currently studying abroad through the Food & Sustainability Studies Program (FSSP) at the Umbra Institute, an American study abroad program in Italy.

At Tufts, Alex says that his educational background has had a focus on the science and policy of environmental studies, while at Umbra “the focus has been more on cultural identity and the contrasting ways that different societies produce and consume food.” Umbra’s FSSP is a curricular concentration that applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food and sustainability in order to discover how the individual, the community, and society relate to food in Italy, America, and elsewhere. As part of the program, Alex has taken courses in the history and culture of food, sustainability and food production, and the business of wine.

A key characteristic of the FSSP is that all courses include a series of co- and extra-curricular activities as a supplement to topics discussed in class. To develop a deep understanding of various food production processes, Alex has spent his semester cooking an antique Roman recipe in Florence; exploring an ancient pharmacy to learn about the medicinal characteristics of food; touring multiple, family-run, organic wineries and cheese producers; working in a synergistic garden; and visiting local farmers’ markets. He has also had the opportunity to go truffle- hunting in the hills of Umbria and discuss organic agriculture with Matteo Bartolini, a lobbyist for the European Agricultural Commission for Sustainable Agricultural Reform. When asked what he thought of the flurry of community engagement activities that filled his semester, Alex responded, “What’s the point of being a student? Why am I studying? It is so that I can be trained in a professional way so that I can go and do something for the community that I am a part of.”

In addition to his courses within the FSSP, Alex chose to compliment his semester studies with CESP 351: Fair Trade Practices: Seminar and Practicum. During the course’s practicum, Alex works in a local fair trade shop and assists with the advertisement of events that promote fair trade concepts to the locals of Perugia. He commented that the shop’s community is welcoming to volunteers of all backgrounds, including locals with mental or physical disabilities. “The whole ethos of what they do is making sure that everyone is getting what they deserve, to create a community space,” said Alex as he described how the fundamentals of fair trade translate into the shop’s community. During the seminar portion of the course, the class reviews the impact of fair trade on both local and global economies, the place for fair trade inside the global market, and the role of the World Fair Trade Organization. Readings and discussions offer comparative analysis of Italian and American perspectives on global markets and the complexities of communicating such a topic across cultures.

As he ended his conversation with Umbra staff, Alex explained that he feels it is important for students of an interdisciplinary field, such as food and environmental studies, to learn to have a well-rounded perspective that discounts neither science nor culture and history. He concluded saying, “I am really glad that I got to see both the Italian and American perspective [on food systems] at the same time and in the same place.”

About Food & Sustainability Studies at the Umbra Institute:

The Food & Sustainability Studies Program is an interdisciplinary curricular concentration at the Umbra Institute, an American study abroad program located in the central Italian city of Perugia. Often called a “big university town in a small Italian city,” Perugia is the ideal setting to study abroad in Italy, with fine arts, business, and liberal arts courses. For more information about the Umbra Institute or its Food & Sustainability Studies Program, contact the associate director of the Program, Zachary Nowak (znowak@umbra.org). You can also watch a short video describing studying at the Umbra Institute.

World PEAS Food Hub Coordinator, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (Boston/Lowell, MA)

Oversee operation of the multi-farmer World PEAS Food Hub distributing fresh, locally-grown produce throughout the Merrimack Valley and Boston area. Operations include a 400-share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, multiple wholesale accounts and a variety of community partnerships serving low-income and food insecure individuals. Goals include growth of the operation by expanding market channels and diversifying CSA offerings, increasing number of food access partnerships and establishing an institutional marketing program.

Apply Online

3 Videos to Watch in Under 90 Seconds

We compiled a short list of the quickest, snappiest videos on our YouTube Channel. Enjoy!

we're on


1.  Meet Tony’s new friend.


 

2. Scroll through our snazzy, digitized progress report on Tumblr!


 

3.  There are no words…just watch it.


 

BONUS: Got an extra 30 seconds? Get the low-down on sustainable food initiatives at Tufts University!

Volunteers, 23rd Annual South End Garden Tour, (Boston, MA)

On June 18th, the Trustees will be hosting the 23rd Annual South End Garden Tour in Boston’s South End. This tour is not only in support of the Trustees mission of sustainably preserving places of natural, scenic, and historic beauty but in support of our Community Gardens . The Boston Community Gardens provide a sense of community but also a sustainable source of food for many of Boston’s residents.

We are currently recruiting volunteers to support this year’s tour by serving as Garden Sitters, Registration Volunteers, and Membership Volunteers. The event is from 10am-4pm and is broken down into three, two hour shifts. We are also pleased to be able to offer a complimentary tour ticket to all of our volunteers.

Please contact Annie Wolf at awolf@thetrustees.org or 617-542-7696 ext2127 if interested.

Volunteer, Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative (Dewick & Carmichael)

The recently formed Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative is looking for student volunteers to help package food donations for Food for Free at Dewick and Carmichael dining halls! This rescued surplus will be used to support Food for Free’s Motel Family Meals program, providing daily dinner’s for 20 homeless families living at the Day St. Hotel in Boston.

Volunteers will be scheduled for approximately one hour of work between 2 – 4pm Mon – Sat, and priority will be given to weekly volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering or hearing more about the program, email Tufts.FRC@gmail.com to find out more.

 

For more information or to sign-up as a volunteer, please email Tufts.FRC@gmail.com.
 
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