This Saturday environmental studies professor and food systems expert David Cleveland will give a lecture at the Institute of World Culture in downtown Santa Barbara. In this forum, Cleveland will discuss the challenges of establishing a healthy and sustainable system for the production, distribution and consumption of food. Currently, food production contributes more than 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions, and fuels an epidemic of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Also, climate change directly threatens our food system, our health, and our communities. Low income and minority communities unjustly bear a large proportion of the burden of climate change and diet-related diseases.
Changing our diet could quickly and effectively begin to solve these problems with relatively minor investments and proven methods that we already have. However, diet change requires working together to take back control of our food choices from the food industry and the institutions and government agencies it has co-opted, as well as overcoming individual resistance to change. Effective solutions include actions and policies to a) increase information to enable better food choices, b) make healthier food more affordable, c) increase the availability of good food and decrease the availability of bad food in our communities, and d) activate peoples’ sense of autonomy and fairness to counter food industry advertising. Discussion will follow Professor Cleveland’s illustrated and thoroughly researched presentation. Suggested donation of $2 per person.