Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
The Department of Environmental Studies,

University of California, Santa Barbara



"Creating a Food Utopia from Food Dystopia: What Needs to Happen?"

Ricardo Salvador
Senior Scientist and Director, Food & Environmental Program
Union of Concerned Scientists

Monday, April 22, 2013
4:00 - 5:00 PM
Bren Hall 1414

"Ricardo Salvador pulls no punches in his diagnosis of what ails our food system, and his ideas for a cure, which would require fundamental economic, environmental, and social restructuring, are sure to stimulate discussion." — David Cleveland, Environmental Studies faculty host

Our food system is an issue of our times on par with global climate change, growing social inequality, and the threat to democracy from incipient plutocracy. There has never been so much food produced as there is now, yet the bounty of the modern global food system is accompanied by issues of similar magnitude: it makes entire populations sickly, it limits the future viability of humanity on planet Earth due to degradation of the environment, and it is inequitable because not all who have a stake in making the system possible can benefit from the abundance they help to generate. The primary reason cannot be understood ahistorically. Our present food system meets the goals of earlier generations, but must be perpetually improved to meet the needs of the present and future. There can be no enterprise more uniquely American than to refine and update the goals and mechanisms of the food system. This includes practices, ranging from field production to retail distribution, and policies: the rules and incentives we intentionally create to galvanize socioeconomic activity.

As senior scientist and director of the Food & Environmental Program at Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Ricardo Salvador works with citizens, scientists, economists, and politicians to transition our current food system into one that grows healthy foods while employing sustainable practices.

Prior to joining UCS, Salvador served as a program officer for Food, Health, and Wellbeing with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Before that, he was an associate professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, where he helped develop the nation's first sustainable agriculture graduate program and helped establish the university's student-operated organic farm.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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