Homestretch for the Holidays

December! It is very hard to believe we are already facing the end of another semester at Friedman. But the chilly air, harried faces, and crowded libraries are here to remind us that, yes, we’ve made it to finals season. Winter break is almost here!

This is the last issue of The Sprout for 2017, and as such, is a perfect time for reflection on all that has been accomplished over the past 12 months (we have decided to focus on the positive!). The Sprout published over 50 creative, forward-thinking articles whose content wouldn’t have been possible without the creative, forward-thinking students that make up the Friedman student body. As co-editors, we are proud and thankful for the writing that our student body shares with us every month.

This month, we want to highlight two timely pieces contributed by The Friedman Justice League and Julie Kurtz, in light of recent political controversy that hit close to home: one a statement of support of our colleagues at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy and The Tufts Daily, and the other a personal reflection.

Next, Sam Jones reviews the summer Netflix hit Okja and tells us how the underlying messages in the dystopian film may reflect the state of our current food production system, or where we may be headed.

Megan Maisano feeds our inner foodie with a review of the hidden Italian gem, Carlo’s Cucina, in Allston, and Erin Child brings us on an amusing journey through the adventures of making both traditional and “health-ified” French fries.

November and December in America bring food traditions (and dietary restrictions) to light, as millions of households come together with friends and family to celebrate the holidays with shared meals of traditional (or not) dishes. Kathleen Nay tells us about her experience and provides some tips for catering to myriad dietary requirements during the holidays.

The prospect of single-payer healthcare becoming a reality is upon us in Massachusetts, but we are still unsure what role nutrition will play in its scope. Ayten Salahi and Hattie Brown, members of the new student organization, Friedman Food Policy Action Council, dig in to the details and recount their meeting with state senator Jamie Eldridge.

Finally, Hannah Meier highlights the work of an art campaign fighting against eating disorders and body dissatisfaction inspired by the words of playwright Eve Ensler. “Love Your Tree” is the wish, and art is the command for students in participating programs around the globe. Poster submission is open until December 15, so read on to learn how you can be involved.

Happy reading, and happy new year – see you in 2018!

Hannah Meier & Kathleen Nay


In this issue…

A Statement of Support to our Colleagues at the Fletcher School

by The Friedman Justice League

The Friedman Justice League responds to Anthony Scaramucci’s resignation from the Advisory Board at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on November 28, 2017. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


Perspective for Finals Week

by Julie Kurtz

The events of Tuesday, November 28 that culminated in Anthony Scaramucci’s resignation from the Fletcher School’s Advisory Board prompted a letter of solidarity for Fletcher from the Friedman Justice League. It also left graduate students across Tufts University campuses feeling contemplative about the kind of impact and influence we have the power to wield—both as individuals and as representatives of this anchor institution where we’ve made our academic homes. AFE/MPH student Julie Kurtz sent the Friedman Sprout a short reflection in response to the actions of our friends at Fletcher. In it, she offers some perspective on why we’re here, what justice means, and how we can contribute to the world around us.


Screen capture from Okja official trailer, available on Netflix.

“Most Importantly: They Need to Taste F%#@ing Good”

by Sam Jones

Okja is a Netflix original film that was released in June 2017 and directed by Bon Joon Ho. While some may characterize it as a dystopian sci-fi film, others recognize it as a commentary on our modern industrial food complex. Warning: spoiler alert.


A Slice of Italy in Allston

Pollo Gerardo and remnants of the Melanzane Ripiene. Photo: Megan Maisano

by Megan Maisano

It’s the end of the semester. Motivation for cooking and weekly meal prep is low. Are you yearning for some Italian comfort fare, but don’t want to make the trek to North End? Fear not. This hidden gem will fill your heart and your belly.



For the Love of French Fries

by Erin Child

oven fries and french fries

 As a nutrition student, Erin’s unabashed love of French fries may seem out of place. But for her, they are just one delicious part of an otherwise decently balanced diet. They’re her go-to when out at a bar with friends, and her favorite accompaniment to a bowl of steamed mussels. So, she decided to finally try her hand at making some real deep-fried French fries. However, she can’t in good conscience let this story be all be about deep-fried food. And so, she also made a batch of oven fries to compare to the deep-fried originals. She recruited a couple Friedman friends to taste test, and they had a delicious Fry-day night.



Bringing Everyone to the Table: Accommodating Special Diets During the Holidays

I'm thankful for friends who let us try out sometimes-unusual recipes on them! Photo: Kathleen Nayby Kathleen Nay

Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers are dwindling, but there is more holiday eating and meal prep on the horizon. As food and nutrition professionals, we understand that emotions can run high when it comes to sharing meals, traditions, and dietary restrictions with a crowd. So what can a holiday meal that balances a variety of special diets look like?


How Nutrition in MassCare May Put The ‘Health’ Back in ‘Universal Health Coverage’

by Ayten Salahi and Hattie Brown

Including local incentives for food equity and nutritional status may boost momentum and potential of the MA Right to Health movement. Members of budding student group – the Friedman Food Policy Action Council (FFPAC) – met with Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge to discuss the need to include nutrition in a proposed cost analysis of a single payer health system (S.2202).

You’ve Got to Love Your Tree

by Hannah Meier

“Love Your Tree.” It’s a directive inspired by Eve Ensler, the writer and activist behind the one-woman play, The Good Body (you may also know her as the playwright for the wildly popular Vagina Monologues). “Love Your Tree” is also the foundation of a creative arts eating disorder prevention campaign that started at the Sheppard Pratt eating disorder treatment center in Maryland in 2006 and has since expanded nationally. Today, organizations across the country, including Massachusetts, are invited to participate in the 2018 campaign and submit artwork that illustrates body diversity, acceptance and positivity.




One Hundred and Fifty-Six

One hundred and fifty-six.

That is the number of new, incoming Masters, Ph.D., and Certificate Program students to the Friedman School this year. 156 new faces, new names to learn, new friendships to forge… all future experts in food, nutrition, science, and policy! Let’s break down the numbers.

Friedman's incoming class, 2017.

Friedman’s incoming class, 2017.

To all of you: welcome to Friedman! And for the returning cohorts: welcome back! I’m really excited to meet the new class, and I hope that we’ll cross paths in the halls of Jaharis.

But let’s get to introductions: Hey! I’m Kathleen Nay, co-editor of the Friedman Sprout. I’m a third-year dual degree student in the Agriculture, Food & Environment (AFE) and Urban & Environmental Planning & Policy (UEP) programs. I’m thrilled to be co-editing the Sprout for a second year, and eager to dive head first into my final year of graduate school. In Alberta, Canada—where I hail from—we’d say, “just give’r!” (For those unfamiliar with the verb, Urban Dictionary defines it as “going balls-to-the-wall to take care of business as quickly and awesomely as possible. May or may not involve drop-kicking something without hesitation.” Now you know.)

The past two weeks have been busy for all of us as we shop classes, meet with advisors, finalize schedules, and decide how and where to get involved in student life. At the Friedman Sprout, we’ve been gearing up for an exciting year and planning fun things for our writers (more on that from my illustrious co-editor, Hannah, below). We hope YOU will join us in crafting this year’s Friedman Sprout—a publication produced entirely by students. Please pitch us your ideas, we’d love to hear from you!

If writing isn’t your thing (it is—you just don’t know it yet), there are so many other opportunities to leave your mark on our Friedman community. In this special mid-month issue, you’ll hear from student leaders who are busy planning the year ahead. Student leaders like:

  • Danielle Krobath, Student Council Co-Chair. From the annual Welcome Back Picnic, to advocating for new computers in the student lounge and student-accessible meeting spaces, to the year-end retreat at George’s Island, and everything in between, Student Council is actively engaged in shaping Friedman student life.
  • Simon Ye, Chair of Slow Food Tufts. Slow Food Tufts is a chapter of Slow Food International, a grassroots organization promoting good, clean, and fair food for all. Not only does Slow Food host events like kimchi-making workshops and local chocolate factory tours, it’s a great way to get to know students from other programs and to learn about the greater Boston food community.
  • Bridget Carle and Casey Florea, organizers for Dig In! Nutrition Education (DINE). DINE is an ongoing partnership with third grade classrooms at Josiah Quincy Elementary School, where Friedman students teach lessons on nutrition and food. It’s a low-commitment, but high-fun way to give back to the Chinatown community in a positive way.
  • Hannah Meier, Sara Scinto and Jessie Ellis, advocates of the Friedman Unofficial Running Club (FURC). Got some energy to burn off? Need some friends to hold you to your distance goals? Want to explore new corners of the Boston area on foot? Check these folks out.
  • Kenny Westerman, Katherine Rancano, Jessie Ellis, and Jennifer Huang, coordinators of NewTrition, a TED Talk-style platform for Friedman students to share research and generate discussion about topics in nutrition.
  • Julie Kurtz, member of the Friedman Justice League, a grassroots group committed to making Friedman—and the world—a better place through thoughtful engagement with our food system.

It’s a new year. Let’s make our mark! Hey, Hannah, how is Sprout making our mark this year?

Thanks, Kathleen! I’m super excited about everything we have in the works. Before I get to that, let me introduce myself.

Hi! My name is Hannah Meier, I’m a second-year (fourth semester) student in the Nutrition Communications program and I’m thrilled that I get to be one of the editors of the Sprout this year. I really enjoyed participating as a contributing writer last year. I learned so much about myself as a writer and a professional in the nutrition space, and encourage anyone and everyone to write about the topics they are passionate about—it’s not only a great way to establish more expertise for yourself (and build out that resume!), but an amazing chance to immerse yourself into the buzzing food and nutrition community in Boston.

The Sprout will continue to publish student-written articles monthly. We have traditionally focused on written articles, but would love to see students get creative with other media platforms like video, photography, graphic design, or audio.

If you haven’t signed up to receive communication about writing for the Sprout, send us an email and we’ll get you squared away:

We are also ramping up our social media presence. We hear you: Facebook is so 2010. While we aren’t leaving Facebook (it’s a great way for us to share the fabulous articles students write with everyone from grandma to embassy ambassadors), we are venturing into other platforms like Instagram, beginning with a collaboration with @Tufts_Nutrition (follow them!). We hope to feature authors, articles, quotes, photography… anything and everything we are proud of by our fabulous contributors.

Speaking of our fabulous contributors, I am very excited to announce that we will debut a new tradition following each publication: Contributor Happy Hours! We all know that writing is rewarding, but sometimes so challenging. We don’t need to go through the rollercoaster in isolation! We are already excited to bask in the glow of publication bliss with fellow student writers and a fun beverage of choice. Social hour + incentive to write resume-boosting food and ag pieces, yes please!

Finally, Kathleen and I are working hard to pull together writing workshops this year, hosted by the Sprout and featuring influential voices in the food and nutrition writing space. We hope that these offer an opportunity to learn from the pro’s, get expert opinion on your assignments and submissions, and sharpen your writing skills. Writing, and communication in general, is critical when it comes to exerting expert influence within our fields, and we are excited to bring this learning opportunity to all Friedman students.

In good health,

Hannah and Kathleen

Friedman Sprout Co-Editors, Hannah Meier and Kathleen Nay

Friedman Sprout Co-Editors, Hannah Meier and Kathleen Nay


In this issue…

Hello Friedman!

by Danielle Krobath, Friedman Student Council

Welcome (and Welcome Back!) from Slow Food Tufts

by Simon Ye

Dig In to DINE this School Year!

by Bridget Carle and Casey Florea

Friedman Unofficial Running Club (FURC)

by Hannah Meier, Sara Scinto and Jessie Ellis

NewTrition Welcome Back 2017

by Kenny Westerman, Katherine Rancano, Jessie Ellis and Jennifer Huang

Making a Lasting Impact on Friedman

by Julie Kurtz, Friedman Justice League


Sprinting Toward Summer

Dear Readers,

We’ve reached the end of another school year. Congratulations, you made it! Now is the time to reflect on what we’ve learned and celebrate the successes of the past year. Whether you’re graduating this month or going off to explore the professional world through an internship, I think we can all agree that we’re looking forward to catching up on fresh air, sunshine and… sleep. Bring it on, summer!

Did you miss the Student Research Conference last month? Fortunately, Jennifer Huang can fill you in on what you missed with her conference recap. (Plus photos!)

It’s often said that “you are what you eat.” Although Friedman students know that that’s a simplistic understanding of how nutrition actually works, Hannah Meier can give you the lowdown on one superfood to fuel your summer activity: sweet potatoes! Try her yummy, power-packed recipes.

But what if  you are what you eat  you are what you grow? Julie Kurtz reflects on her trip to Cuba last winter, and contemplates the lessons the U.S. food system might learn from Cuban agriculture.

Next up, Erin Child does some detective work to get to the bottom of the Pinnertest, a self-administered home test meant to identify all that ails you (a.k.a. food intolerances). Does it work? Erin talked to the experts.

As many of us approach graduation, we’re reflecting on the things we’ll take away from Friedman as we go on to pursue our professional careers. Katelyn Castro shares the lessons she’s learned over the years through her coursework and as a dietetic intern.

And finally, in a world of conflicting messages about nutrition and increasing uncertainty about science, it is often hard to be a persuasive voice for scientific truth. Rachel Baer explores the ways in which nutrition professionals can confront “alternative facts” about food and health.

Before we sign off for this academic year, congratulations are in order! We want to wish our very own co-editor, Micaela Young, a fond farewell as she graduates and moves on and up. Our social media editor and prolific Sprout writer, Julia Sementelli, is also graduating. Best wishes, Micaela and Julia! To take Micaela’s place, Hannah Meier has agreed to join Kathleen as the new Friedman Sprout co-editor for the 2017-18 year. Welcome, Hannah!

This year has been a blast, and we couldn’t have done it without all our fantastic and smart writers and readers. Thank you for a successful year of the Sprout. We look forward to bringing you more writing on food, agriculture and nutrition in the fall.

Happy Summer, everyone!

Kathleen Nay & Micaela Young

In this issue…

Revival of the Student Research Conference

by Jennifer Huang

The 10th Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Student Research Conference, known fondly within the Friedman community as the SRC, took place on April 7th and 8th. Jennifer Huang gives us a photo-filled recap of this student-led event, where she—and all who attended—were blown away by the amazing capabilities of student presenters and the Friedmanites who worked tirelessly since last November on planning this event

From Soil to Sport: Sweet Potatoes to Power You

by Hannah Meier

As the temperatures slowly, and not so consistently, increase in Boston this spring, more of us will find ourselves out in the field, on the trails, or on the sidewalks soaking in the sunshine and working up a sweat. Even if you aren’t competitive, you have probably noticed the difference in how you feel during, and after, exercise when you are—or are not—properly fueled. Look no further for easy and delicious recipes to power your active spring using the grad student’s pantry staple: The sweet potato!

You Are What You Eat  You Are What You Grow

by Julie Kurtz

Imagine, if you will, that the U.S. was stripped of all its powerful agricultural fertilizers, pesticides and mechanization. Imagine that we were cut off from international trade imports. In Cuba they didnt have to imagine. They lived it. AFE students Julie Kurtz, Tessa Salzman and Jamie Fanous traveled to Cuba in January 2017 to find out what lessons the U.S. food system might learn from Cuba. One surprising lesson? If you want to change American diets, talk to a Midwest corn farmer…

Evaluating the Pinnertest: The Importance of Scientific Evidence

by Erin Child

So, you think you have a food intolerance? What do you do? You could call your doctor and set-up an appointment that is inevitably months away. Then you have a 10-minute meeting in which they only look at their computer and refer you to a specialist, THEN go through more testing, and finally (hopefully!) get some answers. Or, you could order an at-home kit that takes 10 minutes to complete and promises results that will get you feeling better, sooner. Which one do you choose? Read on and decide.

Nutrition in a Nutshell: Lessons Learned as a Dietetic Intern

by Katelyn Castro

I was one of those few teenagers who knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now, after four years of college and two years of graduate school combined with a dietetic internship, a career as a registered dietitian is not far out of reach. While my passion for nutrition has never dwindled over these last six years, my approach nutrition has changed significantly.

Finding Common Ground for Nutrition in a World of Alternative Facts

by Rachel Baer

Rachel Baer tackles the implications of the “post-truth” culture for the nutrition profession and poses 3 questions to consider about our response to the unending barrage of nutrition-related “alternative facts.”

Spring is Here! The April Issue

Dear Readers,

The Sprout is back with a jam-packed issue covering topics from farmworker justice to smoothie bowl recipes sure to satisfy your Spring cravings. And no, we’re not joking around!

With the Spring comes a dizzying array of food and agriculture conferences and symposiums in the New England area that are hard to keep track of! But don’t worry, Kathleen Nay has kindly compiled all of the must-sees in one place for your viewing pleasure. Then Caitlin Joseph updates us on the labor justice front, detailing recent developments in the Coalition of Immokalee Workers Fair Food Program and how they will be coming to Friedman this month! And activism doesn’t stop at the picket line: Mike Zastoupil tells us about Feed the People, and how two friends are fueling the resistance with burritos.

Have a negative view of GMO’s? So did Laura Barley…until she came to the Friedman School. See what changed her mind.

And then Jennifer Pustz takes us back in time to the rations of World War I, offering reflections on our current “everything in moderation” movement and issues with overconsumption. What does “moderation” mean exactly? Katelyn Castro fills us in on this and other suggestions from the Dietary Guidelines that are so often misinterpreted.

Our writers then take you on a food tour, from Shannon Evins’ review of the Barcelona Wine Bar in the South End, to Katie Moses’ description of Louisiana “soul” food (recipes included!). Julia Sementelli then helps us welcome Spring with four delicious, refreshing smoothie bowl recipes.

Thank you for reading!

Micaela & Kathleen

In this issue…

The April/May Food and Nutrition Conference Circuit

by Kathleen Nay

“With nearly a dozen conferences taking place in and around Boston this month, how should I choose which one(s) to go to?”  If you’ve been asking yourself this question, you’re in luck. Kathleen Nay has the rundown of food and nutrition conferences, seminars and lecture series to check out.

Obligations and Opportunities for Farmworker Justice

by Caitlin Joseph

Anyone who cares about public health and nutrition, affordable and healthy food access, agricultural sustainability, rural communities, international trade, or corporate social responsibility, should be paying close attention to how the recent rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy will impact the people the U.S food system is currently dependent on: farmworkers. On Wednesday, April 19, farmworker activists from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) who live and work on the frontlines of these issues will be at the Friedman School to talk about their current campaigns and their perspective on the recent political landscape.

Political Dissent with Burritos

by Mike Zastoupil

While thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to protest the Trump administration, these two guys have taken to…their kitchen. Learn how Feed the People is fueling the resistance in Boston with delicious burritos.

Musings from the In-Between: My Coming to Terms with the GMO Industry

by Laura Barley

Monotony. Uniformity. Cataclysmic Tragedy, Subsequent Death. As a self-identified liberal attending an institution built on the premise of promoting social welfare through nutritional outcomes, this is how Laura Barley has historically described images of technologized agriculture. Her take on GMOs now? Read on. 

“Food will Win the War!” American Food Policies during World War I

by Jennifer Pustz

“The consumption of sugar sweetened drinks must be reduced” . . . “use less meat and wheat” . . . “buy local foods.” These are familiar phrases at the Friedman School in 2017. But these slogans and many others could be found on posters one hundred years ago after the United States officially entered World War I in April 1917. Friedman student Jennifer Pustz a story from food history that may offer inspiration for the promotion of gardening, conservation, and sustainability in the twenty-first century.

Balance, Variety, and Moderation: What Do They Really Mean?

by Katelyn Castro

Balance, variety, and moderation have been referenced in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for decades. Yet overtime, the ambiguity of these terms has clouded their importance and left their meaning open for interpretation—often misinterpretation.

A Slice of Spain: My Night at Barcelona Wine Bar

by Shannon Evins

Longing for warm nights when the sun sets at 9:00pm? Wishing summer break would hurry up already? Tapas may be the answer you need. Step into Barcelona Wine Bar in the South End to have a taste of vibrant Spanish culture. Your time there will surely give you a slice of Spain.

Soul of the Louisiana Kitchen

by Katie Moses

When the only remnants of Mardi Gras are plastic beads hanging from the oaks along St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana still draws people from around the world for the lively music and incredible food. Discover the secret to the depth of flavor in Cajun and Creole cuisine and recreate a classic Louisiana dish, red beans and rice, in your own kitchen.

Four smoothie bowl recipes that will put a Spring in your step!

by Julia Sementelli

While there a handful of smoothie bowl spots in Boston, I have found that the best smoothie bowl is the one that you make at home! Fuel up for finals with these four perfect-for-spring smoothie bowls that will keep you feeling satisfied and refreshed to take on this busy yet exciting month.

It’s National Nutrition Month 2017!

Dear Readers,

Here at the Friedman School, we think about nutrition every day. But in March, we celebrate! This year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wants us to “put our best forks forward,” and our writers at the Friedman Sprout are doing just that.

In this issue, Katelyn Castro kicks off the month with 8 small, but worthwhile and totally doable tips for eating healthier in 2017. Meanwhile, Hannah Meier takes a look at a popular anti-diet trend and asks whether it’s really all it’s cracked up to be. For the hungry among us, Julia Sementelli introduces us to that chicken and rice dish she loves so much. Our mouths are watering already.

On the research front, we talk food allergies. Should peanut butter still strike fear in our hearts? In an effort to eat her PBJ freely again, Erin Child advises us in on the new guidelines for reducing the risk of peanut allergies. On policy, Daniele Todorov takes a look at the American opioid epidemic – and what it has to do with WIC.

And now that, two months into a new presidential administration, we’ve finally accepted (or conceded?) this brave new political world of ours, Friedman students are trying to navigate what comes next. Kathleen Nay shares her experience as a participant of Let’s Talk, a project piloted by fellow Friedman students to facilitate more open and empathetic political dialogue. Maddy Bennett, on the other hand, is all about action: this month she’s taking the opportunity to tell us about the grassroots Coalition of Immokalee Workers and why it’s more important than ever to organize on behalf of agricultural workers.

From us to you, happy reading! Cheers,

Kathleen and Micaela


In this issue…

8 Small But Worthwhile Changes You Can Make to Eat Healthier

by Katelyn Castro

Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month® with new (and a little cheesy) nutrition theme each year. This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” While this can be interpreted in many ways, here is my spin the theme, including a step-by-step guide on how healthy eating can fit into your lifestyle.

5 Reasons the Whole30 is Not the Anti-Diet it Claims to Be

by Hannah Meier, RD, LDN

How does the Whole30 Diet hold up from a dietitian’s perspective? Hannah Meier breaks it down.

That Chicken and Rice Dish

by Julia Sementelli

It’s March and the official month of the start of Spring! But here in Boston the temperatures have been playing games with our hearts, which makes trying to decide what to make for dinner a bit tricky. This recipe for Yotam Ottolenghi’s “chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice” is the perfect meal to help you transition from winter to spring. Warm and comforting from the spices and hearty chicken and rice, but refreshing and light from an abundance of fresh herbs and a tangy yogurt sauce. This dish has become a staple in my cooking repertoire and I’ll share with you my tips for making the best possible version of this delicious dish.

Putting a Pause on Peanut Butter Panic: New Guidelines Seek to Reduce Peanut Allergy Risk

by Erin Child

Do you like peanut butter? So do I. I’m kind of obsessed. Perhaps you add it to your smoothie bowl, drizzle it artfully on your Instagram worthy oatmeal, or, if you’re in grad school, it’s part of your PB&J. After all, that is the cheapest, easiest thing to make. But what if you had to take the PB out of the PB&J, and eliminate it from your diet and your life? This is a growing reality for many in the United States, with outdated, misinformed guidelines being blamed for the recent spike in peanut allergies. Read on to explore the revolutionary research that has spurred the creation of new guidelines, and why Americans need to change how we handle peanut exposure in childhood.

WIC at the Crossroads of the Opioid Epidemic

by Danièle Todorov

The complexity and pervasiveness of the opioid epidemic has forced government agencies to be innovative with their resources. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a prime position to care for pregnant women affected by the epidemic and has stepped up to the plate.

Exiting the Echo Chamber

by Kathleen Nay

Many of us were unexpectedly blindsided by the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, but maybe we shouldn’t have been. Four Friedman students saw a need for greater diversity in our political discourse, and decided to do something about it. They piloted Let’s Talk, a four-week program designed to help fellow students engage in more respectful, tolerant, and empathetic dialogue with people of diverse political perspectives.

Agricultural Workers Should Organize

by Maddy Bennett

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a farm workers’ rights group founded by laborers on Florida’s tomato farms. The organization now operates in many states to secure fair wages and to oppose involuntary servitude in the U.S. agriculture industry. CIW succeeded in bringing large food retailers to meet the terms of the group’s Fair Food Program. The work of CIW proves that when labor organizes to reclaim its rights, society benefits. Learn more by attending Friedman Seminar on April 19. 

February: The Heart Issue

Dear Readers,

This February, we have busy minds and heavy hearts. Not only are some of us beginning to gear up for life after Friedman, but political unrest and uncertainty, social injustices, and–as always–unqualified nutrition claims abound. That’s why The Sprout is back after our winter hiatus to help clear your head and nurture your heart and soul.

So, you went to the Women’s March. That’s great! But there is still work to be done. Sam Hoeffler fills us in on the 10 actions in 100 days movement, and how you can get involved at The Friedman School.

Next, Christine Sinclair and Katelyn Castro warm our souls with delicious recipes. Ever heard of ackee? No? Well you are missing out on this delicious and culturally significant fruit. No worries, Christine has you covered. Then, Katelyn gives us 10 hearty (and heart-healthy) soups that take no time at all. (And are much better than canned.)

And it wouldn’t be Heart Health Month without the temptation of Valentine’s treats (a.k.a. chocolate and sugar, the true heroes of V-day). Jenn Pustz details the mysterious history of how chocolate–and its subsequent partner in crime, sugar–became the commercialized symbols of love and affection. Awwww.

Once you’ve had your fill of treats, Danièle Todorov, Delphine Van Roosebeke, and Julia Sementelli will convince you that proper nutrition is, well, common sense. Danièle and Delphine interview a prominent cardiovascular clinician, getting his take on quick fixes and supplements. Who else comes to mind when you read “supplements?” Right, Dr. Oz. Julia details the state of this epidemic and how the spread of false nutrition information is confusing patients everywhere. And get this: She even interviews the great and powerful Oz himself!

Last but not least, Christina Skonberg and Krissy Scommegna take us on a trip to California to learn about supply chains, and how producers doing good in the world make production decisions.


Micaela & Kathleen

Turning a Moment into a Movementscreen-shot-2017-02-01-at-8-18-13-am

by Sam Hoeffler

Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Now what? Join the movement.


Ackee: Jamaica’s Irresistible Delicacy

ackee1by Christine Sinclair

Ever heard of Jamaica? Yes? Ever heard of Bob Marley and Usain Bolt? Yes? Ever heard of ackee? No? Well, just like Jamaica and our international stars, ackee is a star in its own right. You don’t quite know Jamaica until you know ackee. So let me introduce you. Ackee has a rich history dating back to the slave trade. It has a delicious flavor, and a unique texture that you will want to add to your cooking repertoire. 


10 Hearty Soups to Make in Less than an Hour

by Katelyn Castrotuscan-kale-and-bean-soup-preventionrd

Fresh almost always tastes better than the canned version, especially when it comes to soup. Having a few hearty soup recipes on hand that you can rely on can be a lifesaver when canned soup just doesn’t cut it. They say soup warms the soul, right?



The Bittersweet History of Valentine’s Day Sweets

valentine_digitalamherstby Jennifer Pustz

Preparation for Valentine’s Day seems to start earlier every year. The seasonal candy aisle in the local grocery store or pharmacy says goodbye to candy canes and red and green foil-wrapped sweets just in time to make room for heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and the ubiquitous “conversation hearts.” Valentine’s candy has been part of this celebration of love for many decades despite its connection with two ingredients that have very difficult histories: chocolate and sugar.


Coming Back to Common Sensepicture1

by Danièle Todorov and Delphine Van Roosebeke

Ever wish the question of what to eat could be, well, simple? In an interview with cardiologist Dr. Jacques Genest, we discuss themes in “common sense nutrition:” the research behind it, the barriers to adherence, and its evolving definition.


The Dr. Oz Effect

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-8-46-41-amby Julia Sementelli

With the beginning of the new year inevitably comes an onslaught of promotions and advertisements for miracle diets, detoxes, and supplements that vow to help you shed pounds, live longer, etc. And when you think of diets and supplements, most likely two words come to mind: “Dr. Oz.”  He is a doctor, but he is also a registered dietitian’s worst nightmare. Read on for the inside scoop of how Dr. Oz further complicates the already messy, ever-changing world of nutrition and health, including an interview with the man himself.


Following our Food: A Northern California Supply Chain Adventure

by Christina Skonberg and Krissy Scommegnapicture1

How do people at different points of food production make decisions? As part of a directed study on Sustainable Supply Chain Management, Friedman students Krissy Scommegna and Christina Skonberg spoke with representatives at three different food and beverage businesses in California to learn how producers weigh costs and benefits to yield optimal results.

A Friedman Carol

Dear Readers,

This month at The Sprout, we are keeping our heads up, wrapping up final projects and papers, and looking forward to the holidays and a well-deserved winter break (aka sleep). Leaving the Ebenezer Scrooge of years behind–2016–our contributors take you on a trip through nutrition past, present, and future.

Nutrition misconceptions abounded this year, and Julia Sementelli and Katelyn Castro are here to close the book on some hot topics. Julia gives us the blue-green scoop on the Instagram hit microalgae, while Katelyn sheds light on the media’s favorite winter-time nutrient, vitamin D. She even answers the hot-button question: Do you really need to take a D supplement?

Next stop, nutrition present. First, Yifan Xia explores current thinking on how meal timing influences our health, taking cues from both modern science and traditional Chinese medicine. Then, Micaela Young covered Branchfood’s November event, hosted by Branchfood founder and Friedman alum Lauren Abda, where a panel of experts and app start-up companies detailed the state of technology in food, health, and behavior change.

In nutrition’s future, Delphine Van Roosebeke sees apples, particularly non-browning ones. She gives us the intel on these new GM fruits that could be available next year. As in Charles Dicken’s tale, there are always opportunities for redemption, to grow and evolve. The Friedman Justice League urges the Friedman School to do just that, as they give us their thoughts on the school’s new Strategic Plan.

And in the more immediate future, Friedman students are looking forward to winter break. Need a good book to snuggle up with in-between naps? Danièle Todorov has you covered with a sneak peek of: You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice.

The Sprout‘s editors would like to thank their fall contributors for all of their hard work, and wish the graduating Friedman students luck with adventures that lie ahead. As for our readers, we look forward to bringing you another issue in February 2017!


Micaela & Kathleen

Microalgae: Do They Have a Place in Your Diet or Should They Be Left in the Pond?

by Julia Sementelli

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIf you have an Instagram account, chances are you’ve seen a slew of blue-green smoothies pop up on your feed. High in antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein, microalgae are the latest superfood to take over the nutrition world. The most popular types of algae include chlorella, spirulina, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), Blue Majik…the list goes on. Microalgae are claimed to boost your energy, decrease stress, and reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease. The question, of course, is whether these microalgae have any science-based health benefits beyond the nutrients they provide. 

What’s the Deal with Vitamin D?

by Katelyn Castro

castro-1There is always one nutrient that seems to linger in the media for a while. Lately, vitamin D has been the lucky winner! Considering that over 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient, according to the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 
it’s worth taking a closer look at vitamin D.

Timing of your Meals–Does it Matter?

by Yifan Xia

How would you feel if you were told to not have dinner for the rest of your life? Skipping dinner every day might sound shocking to most of us, but it was once a very common practice in ancient China in the Han Dynasty. In fact, even today Buddhism and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) promote this practice as a healthier choice than eating three meals per day. But does this practice have roots in science? Of course, controversy exists around this topic, but one thing that we can be certain of today is that the timing of our meals can have a much greater impact on our health than we originally thought.

Food Techies Commence: Insights from Branchfood’s November Panel

by Micaela Young

Perkins + Will, an architecture firm in downtown Boston, was the unlikely gathering place of health and food innovators on Wednesday, November 16. The event? Friedman alum and Branchfood founder Lauren Abda hosted an evening entitled “Innovators in Food Tech & Health,” a panel discussion and product tasting event showcasing startups and companies creating new solutions to age old problems of behavior change. Discussed was everything from the potential for food tech as a tool in preventative health, to how innovative start-up apps are using new ways to promote healthy eating and exercising.

Can I Eat An Engineered Apple, Please?screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-5-08-34-pm

by Delphine Van Roosebeke

The days of throwing your half-eaten apple away because it turned brown are over. Shiny non-browning apples are about to hit the consumer market in a few months. And this time, it’s not a fairy tale. Read on.


The Friedman Justice League’s Response to the Strategic Plan Launch

by The Friedman Justice League

The Friedman Justice League (FJL) assesses how the recent unveiling of the Friedman School’s Strategic Plan aligns with its own goals and vision for the future, and offers input on how the plan can be effectively implemented. FJL’s internal goals are also expressed, and all Friedman students are welcomed to engage with these efforts, as they please!

Book Review – You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice

by Danièle Todorov

We pick from a dozen entrée options, a couple hundred Netflix movies, or thousands of grocery store products by referencing our intuitive tastes. Or so we think. Tom Vanderbilt delves into the near-irrationality of our preferences in You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice.