Visiting scholar, Kendra Smith-Howard '99
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Thursday, September 26, 2013
at 11:30 AM
Dittmann Center, 305
Matt Rohn


Milking History for What it’s Worth: The Place of Environmental History in Food Activism
A talk by Environmental Historian Kendra Howard-Smith '99.
One of the most significant and resonant strains of the sustainability movement in recent years has centered on the plate. The same environmentalists once sought to get back to their authentic selves in backcountry adventures with wilderness have taken to searching for nature at the farmer’s market or in a plate of wild-caught salmon. On the Saint Olaf campus, STOGROW and Bon Appetit have made great strides in connecting farm to fork and making students more mindful of the ecological footprint of cafeteria meals. Food critics like Michael Pollan and Marc Bitman indict the contemporary food system. While such critiques are valuable, they often provide little explanation for how and why consumers and farmers made the choices they did to bring about such a system. Drawing on her forthcoming book Pure and Modern Milk, Kendra Smith-Howard will illuminate how knowing more about history might inform and reframe contemporary debates about food politics and mindful consumption.

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