Events & exhibitions
event • Fellows' Presentation

Social Justice and the New Food Activism

  • Thursday, October 12, 2017
  • Knafel Center
    10 Garden Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
Headshot of Julie Guthman
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

The alternative food movement has been tremendously successful at raising awareness of many of the public health and ecological consequences of the conventional food system. Yet, as many (friendly) critics have noted, market-based alternatives have done very little to undermine industrially produced food; nor have they resonated much with poor people and communities of color. In the last decade or so, a new food activism has emerged, one that is more contentious, more collective, and more inclusive.

In this talk, Julie Guthman RI '18 will discuss the origins and development of the food movement in order to explain how it came to focus on market based alternatives and also to show how it has evolved in response to critique. She will then discuss three cases that reflect a new food activism, with particular focus on the battle against methyl iodide, a highly toxic chemical that was to replace methyl bromide in strawberry production.

This program is scheduled to complement the reunions of the Harvard and Radcliffe Classes of 1972, 1977, and 1987. We hope to welcome many alumni/ae from these classes to the Radcliffe Institute as part of their reunion activities when they return to Cambridge in the fall.

This presentation is part of HUBweek, a creative festival founded by the Boston Globe, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Massachusetts General Hospital to celebrate innovation at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Learn more at

Event Video

Julie Guthman speaking into microphone at podium.

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