University of Rochester

EVENT: Anthropology Sessions Focus on Food as a Way to Build Community

April 6, 2004

This spring’s Challenges to Communities conference will tackle the varied ways that food connects people when the Department of Anthropology hosts discussions and a guest speaker on Friday, April 23, at the University of Rochester.

“Food, Community, and Identity,” the theme for the sixth annual gathering, will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a presentation of student research on the Rochester Public Market, followed by a panel discussion on how people in Rochester provide food for themselves. At 4:30 p.m., anthropologist Susan Andreatta will talk about “Urban Connections to Locally Grown Produce: Examples from North Carolina.”

All events will be held in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University’s River Campus. The conference, which is free and open to the public, is one of a series of events to recognize Earth Day 2004.

On the panel titled “Feeding Rochester,” undergraduates and invited guests from Foodlink, a food bank that distributes tons of produce and packaged goods to human service providers in Western New York, and Politics of Food, a local advocacy group, will discuss the problems and prospects of the local food system.

Andreatta, associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is also director of Project Green Leaf, which is dedicated to sustaining local agriculture by strengthening the relationship between farmers and consumers. The group promotes activities, such as direct marketing and outreach programs, to develop a local agro-food system. Her current research looks at the “political ecology” of organic agriculture and food systems.

The annual anthropology spring conference promotes student research and seeks to create campus/community partnerships within Rochester. Robert J. Foster, associate professor of anthropology and chair of the department, planned this year’s program. For more information, contact (585) 275-8614.