Food studies professor Evan Weissman cultivates food justice

Syracuse Grows recently celebrated another successful growing season and hosted its first-ever Farm-to-Table Benefit dinner. Funds raised at the event will support the Syracuse Grows network of community gardens and farms and also contribute to its annual resource drive in the spring. Syracuse Grows is a grassroots coalition of individuals, gardens, and community collaborators working to cultivate a just foodscape in the city of Syracuse. The group provides advocacy, programming, education, and resources to support food justice and community development through community gardening and urban agriculture.

Syracuse University students were involved in the event, including three students in assistant professor of food studies Evan Weissman’s FST 304: Farm to Fork course who volunteered by helping chefs prepare the meal and worked at the event itself. Weissman, is a founding member of Syracuse Grows and member of its advisory board. Falk College began offering a bachelor of science degree in food studies in August 2014. As part of this major, Weissman teaches Contemporary Food Issues and Farm to Fork, a popular course with students that provides a first-hand exploration of alternative food systems. His areas of expertise include alternative food networks, urban agriculture, the political economy of agro-food and urban political ecology.

Weissman will be delivering the keynote address for the World on Your Plate conference on food and sustainable living in Buffalo, New York in October. His address is titled, “Building a Movement: Grounded Reflections on Emerging Food Justice Initiatives.”