Food, Public Health, and Social Justice

What Does the Food Justice Movement Mean for Public Health?

To connect the dots between the food system, public health, and health policy, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health’s Mark Bittman, former New York Times columnist and bestselling author, is hosting a weekly lecture series on the food justice movement. With an eye on the policies that promote healthy populations, guest speakers—food experts, labor advocates, scientists, members of the government, and journalists—will explore the impact of health disparities, nutrition, worker rights, and climate change on our food supply.

The events will take place on Mondays from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Vagelos Education Center, Room 201 (104 Haven Avenue, NYC). Members of the public are welcome to attend. Space is limited; Reservations are required. To modify an existing reservation, contact Kim Milian.

Participate using #FoodJustice on Twitter.

September 11, 2017

Why Food Is a Public Health Issue

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, dean and DeLamar Professor of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, senior vice president of Columbia University Medical Center, and professor of Epidemiology and Medicine

Mark Bittman, author and lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

September 18, 2017


A Short History of Food and Humans

Ricardo Salvador, PhD, director and senior scientist for the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

September 25, 2017

Global Food System and Labor

Leah Penniman, co-director of Soul Fire Farm

Greg Asbed, co-founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers/Fair Food Program

Jose Oliva, co-director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance

october 2, 2017

Food and the Environment

Anna Lappe, founder and director of Small Planet Institute

Navina Khanna, director of HEAL Food Alliance

OCTOBER 9, 2017

Climate Change and Food Systems

Bill McKibben, senior advisor and co-founder of

OCTOBER 16, 2017

The Challenges of Eating Animals

Daisy Freund, director of Farm Animal Welfare at ASPCA

Bob Martin, program director of the Food System Policy Program for the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Paul Greenberg, bestselling author of Four Fish and American Catch 

OCTOBER 23, 2017

The Case of Food in NYC

Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and associate professor of clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

october 30, 2017

U.S. Food Policy in the Trump Era

Rep. Chellie Pingree, Congresswoman from Maine’s 1st Congressional District

November 6, 2017

Food as a Global Commodity

Timothy A. Wise, director of the Land and Food Rights Program at Small Planet Institute, senior research fellow with the Global Development and Environment Institute's Globalization and Sustainable Development Program at Tufts University, and author of the forthcoming book, Feeding Illusions: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Future of Food

Jennifer Clapp, PhD, professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo in Ontario

Rajasvini Bhansali, executive director of Thousand Currents

NOVEMBER 13, 2017

The Food Movement, at Home and Abroad

Nick Saul, co-founder, president and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada

november 20, 2017

Regional Food and Policy 


Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, co-founder and executive board member of Food Policy Action, and head judge and executive producer of Top Chef

Paula Daniels, founder of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council

Kathleen Finlay, president of Glynwood and founder of Pleiades