Paradise Lost

by Laura Barley

Climate change is a globally felt human experience that recently hit home for California native Laura Barley. Here, she reflects on the wildfires in her home state and takes a look at some policy tools aimed at climate mitigation.

California is on fire. Needless to say, the past two months have been a terrifying series of events. The Thomas Fire has devoured almost 275,000 acres, granting it the all-too dynamic status of the largest wildfire in California’s recent history. It wraps up the most destructive wildfire season California has on record, capping off at over 500,000 acres burned—more than double the total acreage burned in 2016. To add insult to injury some of those acres, charred of all vegetation by the Thomas Fire, bore the burden of a flash flood that killed 21 people in Montecito.

Even though the Friedman School pulled me to Boston, California is and always will be my home. For the most part, I watched the coverage of the Thomas Fire from afar. Tucked away in the icy confines of my Somerville apartment and Jaharis 118, I checked my phone every few hours to see who of my friends had been evacuated, which of my sun-streaked memory lanes had been destroyed. I couldn’t believe what I saw—apocalyptic images of scrubby hillsides swallowed by flames, plumes of orange clouds encompassing the whole sky. Each picture I saw boomed the same message over and over: that nothing would ever be the same again.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

The frequency of large-scale devastation speaks for itself: California’s climate is changing. It appears that the massive strain on the state’s agricultural and urban water resources, fueled by the longstanding lure of its eternal growing season and illustrious vision of paradise, have come to a reckoning. Years of prolonged drought followed by a sporadic year of intense rainfall have created ecosystems irresilient to the rapid shifts—groundwater and river basins have all but dried up, leaving forest and chaparral ecosystems as little more than tinderboxes. The euphoric agricultural and commercial boons of the twentieth century have lurched into a twenty-first century defined by scarcity, uncertainty, and dramatic change.

So, what’s really at stake here? Climates change, they have for eons. Species perish and adapt in the great equilibrium of life. And we—Californians, Americans, humans—will adapt too, hopefully in a timely manner. But much of the world finds itself in the middle of a cycle that feels beyond our control, where the climate interventions we make barely seem to break even. The tons of carbon dioxide emissions from a single large-scale wildfire, like the Thomas or Napa Fires, are estimated to equal the annual emissions of all motor vehicles in the state, and definitively offset much of the progress made by the state’s cap-and-trade program.

For the foreseeable future, California and much of the American West will continue to battle climate change on multiple fronts—greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise, flash flood and wildfire mitigation, to name a few. Encouragingly, Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has made significant headway towards a baseline system of climate accountability across the state. In addition to the emissions cap-and-trade program, since 2009 the Safeguarding California plan has established a template for large-scale climate change adaptation strategies, and continues to convene action plans across multiple state and municipal departments. Additionally, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 has finally enacted groundwater monitoring protocol in a state that will continue to rely almost exclusively on subterranean water stores for agricultural production. These are positive signs of political responsiveness, and hopefully yield noticeable impacts in the years to come.

But at the heart of climate change, there exists a loss more worrisome than any policy analysis or statistics could project. For me, for now, the loss is purely psychological. The sense that all of us feel to some extent, which is felt especially strongly in California and the developed world at large, the sense that nothing bad can ever happen to us—that’s gone now.

Enduring the human experience of losing the places we’ve built from scratch, places with cultural and spiritual significance, places we call home—this is the global price many of us will have to pay in the coming decades. The stories of devastation and loss are the stories we should be paying attention to, the stories that make the numbers real. More importantly, they’re the stories that motivate us to action, out of fear and compassion that nothing so terrible should ever happen to us again. Because every time it happens, it shouldn’t.

Laura Barley is a second-year AFE Master’s student, who grew up in the Bay Area and lived in Southern California while attending UC Santa Barbara. She is a member of the Water Systems, Science, and Society research program aimed at mitigating water constraints to healthier diets. Most importantly, she strives to be a climate optimist.

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

By Jdarsie11 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jdarsie11 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The Friedman Justice League, with support from the Friedman Sprout, is writing to state its solidarity with the students at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy who bravely spoke out when they felt that a member of the Fletcher Advisory Board was not upholding the school’s core values. As a student organization, The Friedman Justice League is committed to finding ways to allow the Friedman community to better address issues of discrimination and oppression in its teachings, research, and programs. We believe the actions taken by fellow students at the Fletcher school reflect this same mission, and for that we affirm our support.

On November 28, financier and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci resigned from the Fletcher School’s Advisory Board after students and faculty rightly called attention to the discrepancy between his unethical behavior and the values befitting a Fletcher School board member. Earlier in November, Camilo Caballero, a graduate student at Fletcher, wrote an op-ed calling for Scaramucci’s removal from the board, following a petition by fellow student Carter Banker to remove Scaramucci from the board. In the op-ed, he described Scaramucci as an “irresponsible, inconsistent and unethical opportunist,” questioning his position on the Advisory board. They feared that the university was foregoing the long-term benefit of upholding its core values for the short-term benefit of monetary gain. Clearly, the actions Scaramucci took towards Caballero–to threaten a lawsuit because of our fellow student’s opinion–illustrate that his values may no longer align with those of the school, and thus he was no longer fit to continue serving on the board.

Our colleagues at the Fletcher school held themselves accountable for creating the change they wished to see within their institution. Rather than resigning themselves to defeat, they took action when they perceived an injustice. They took action when they perceived that “the power of money [was] taking precedent over the power of values.” We stand in solidarity with the brave steps taken by Camilo Caballero and Carter Banker.

We recognize that our Fletcher colleagues Caballero, Banker, and the editors and staff at The Tufts Daily published their articles at great personal risk to themselves, and we applaud them for doing so. In a statement on behalf of the Friedman Sprout, current co-editor Kathleen Nay says,Though we hope our writers would never feel intimidated or harassed into silence by outside forces, the Friedman Sprout upholds its commitment to empowering students’ voices, especially when challenging injustices in our school’s administration and in our food system more broadly.”

In keeping with the University’s vision “to be an innovative university of creative scholars…who have a profound impact on one another and the world,” we should be proud of our Fletcher colleagues for demonstrating the power of democratic free speech, civic engagement, and commitment to values over financial gain. We hope that should an occasion ever arise, the community at the Friedman School would respond with the same amount of conviction and integrity these students exemplified. The Friedman School prides itself in generating trusted science, educating future leaders, and creating a positive impact in the world of food and nutrition. We know that this is only truly possible if we have trusted experts and citizens at the helm guiding it in the right direction. Anything short of this would place the credibility of Friedman, and by extension the science and policy its research generates, at risk.

Moving forward, we also believe it is in the best interest of the university to develop a process for removing board members that are no longer fit to advise our school. Executive Director of Public Relations Patrick Collins noted that there is no known precedent for removing an advisor from a board; they have only resigned when new positions create conflicts of interest. Although in this case Scaramucci resigned, we believe that no person should take being placed in such an honorable position for granted, and that as representatives of our institution they should be held to the highest standards of morality both within and outside of board meetings. We hope that the administration will take action to ensure that only those who continue to uphold the university’s values continue to have the privilege of a seat on the Board of Advisors.

With the brave voices of a few, our colleagues at the Fletcher school made national waves and created an impact that we believe makes Tufts University a more just and ethically consistent institution. We reaffirm our support of the actions of our fellow students. They inspire us at Friedman to remember to be vigilant, to speak up, and to never underestimate the power of your own voice.

In solidarity,

The Friedman Justice League
Alejandra Cabrera, NICBC 18
Tessa Salzman, AFE/UEP 18
Julie Kurtz, AFE/MPH 18
Casey Leger, NICBC 18
Yvonne Socolar, AFE 18
Kristin Sukys, AFE 18
John VanderHeide, AFE/UEP 18
Kirsten Archer, FPAN/MPH 17
Kathleen Nay, AFE/UEP 18
Eliza Hallett, NICBC 19
Alyssa Melendez, AFE 19
Hannah Meier, NutComm 18
Michelle Darian, NICBC/MPH 19
Megan Maisano, NICBC 18
Sara Scinto, NICBC 18
Jennifer Oslund, FPAN 19
Sabrina Kerin, AFE, 19
Jennifer Pustz, NICBC/MPH 19
Leah Powley, AFE 18
Michelle Rossi, NICBC/MPH 18
Hattie Brown, FPAN 19
Ryan Nebeker, AFE 19
Eliot Martin, FPAN 19
Maria Wrabel, FPAN, 18
Katherine Rancaño, NEPI 17/NICBC 20
Rachel Baer, NICBC 18
Madeline Bennett, FPAN 17
Alana Davidson, FPAN 19
Simon Ye, BMN 17/20
Jessica Manly, AFE 18
Caitlin Matthews, AFE/UEP 17
Amy Byrne, AFE/MPH 19
Ayten Salahi, FPAN/DPD 20
Theodore Fitopoulos, FPAN 18
Kimberly Lagasse, NICBC 18
Rachel Hoh, AFE/ UEP 19
Molly Knudsen, NICBC 19
Victoria Chase, AFE 18
Caitlin Bailey, NICBC 19
Sarah Chang, AFE/MPH 16
Suzanne Kline, FPAN 19
Carla Curle, AFE 16
Hannah Packman, AFE 16
Dianna Bartone, FPAN/MPH 17
Elisabeth Learned, NICBC 19
Bridget Gayer, FPAN/MPH 18
Abel Sandoval, NICBC 18
Rebecca Cohen, BMN 19
Nayla Bezares, AFE 19
Sabina C Robillard, FPAN 17
Laura Gallagher, AFE 19
Natalie Kaner, AFE 18
Lindsay Margolis, NICBC 17
Tori Wong, AFE 18
Megan Lehnerd, N14/PhD 18
Laura Walsh, NICBC 19
Alison Brown, FPAN 17
Marielle Hampton, AFE 19
Christine Sinclair, NICBC 19
Rebecca Boehm, AFE 12/17
Johanna Andrews Trevino, FPAN 18

Furry Friends Can Help Ease Finals Stress

by Marissa Donovan

This time of year is hectic, the end of the semester is near, but the workload to get there seems daunting. Consider turning to animals to fight your finals-induced stress with
Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction and Tufts Paws for People.

Nearly 1 in 6 college students were diagnosed or treated for anxiety last year, according to the 2014 National College Health Assessment survey by the American College Health Association. Anxiety has now become the number one mental health issue among college students today, and academic distress seems to be a major contributor.

More than 100,000 students across 140 colleges and universities sought mental health services during the past year, reports Penn State’s Center for Collegiate Mental Health.  And it’s no surprise that anxiety was found to negatively affect school performance among students. Though the pressures of school, work, and life in general don’t seem to be availing anytime soon, the resources to deal with these pressures are plentiful.

Lifestyle changes, physical activity, and a healthy diet can all help to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. A more unconventional method is playing with pets. That’s right, there’s a reason you’ve heard of therapy dogs and puppy play sessions on the quad—animals can mitigate stress.

Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, J86, V91, N96 explains that human interactions with animals can provide benefits in physical health, mental health, and social interactions. Freeman is the director of Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction (TIHAI), which works to promote health through human-animal interaction, utilizing transdisciplinary partnerships to conduct innovative research, education, and service programs.

“Animal interactions can help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. While these many benefits are easy to feel or see subjectively, there is not yet enough rigorous scientific evidence to understand and optimize these interactions. One of the reasons we launched TIHAI is to do this research,” said Freeman.

And evidence is starting to build showing that animals help, which is why they are used in a variety of settings, from nursing homes and hospitals to college campuses.

Often termed “pet therapy,” Freeman explains that animal visitation generally takes two forms: Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) or Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). Stress relief for college students falls under AAA and appears to provide immense benefits to students. Though interacting with animals may seem straightforward at first, it is important to ensure that these exchanges are safe and beneficial for both the people and the animals. Dogs and cats are typically the most popular pets of focus, but studies have shown that even pet fish can have benefits. The type of animal and the amount of interaction needed for benefits are not yet fully understood, though Freeman explains that it’s important to remember the therapy animals’ health and welfare. During busy stress relief events, they limit each dog to one-hour shifts, because, while visiting with hundreds of college students is fun for them, it’s also tiring.

Tufts Paws for People—based at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and a core program within TIHAI—provides a framework for those wanting to participate in AAA or AAT. Tufts Paws for People gives education, evaluation, and mentorship surrounding how to facilitate healthy interactions with your pet and others, as well as assistance for those wanting to start animal therapy programs.

“Tufts Paws for People has nearly 100 animal-handler teams that provide more than 1,000 hours per year of animal-assisted visitation in a variety of settings across the New England region, including elder care facilities, literacy programs, schools, psychiatric centers, adult and children’s hospitals, cancer centers, hospice care, and university stress relief events,” said Freeman.

They are also partnered with Pet Partners, a national organization established to promote AAA and AAT.

In addition to Paws for People, TIHAI conducts research surrounding human-animal interaction topics including canine-assisted reading programs for children, equine-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, effect of therapy animals on children undergoing chemotherapy, and benefits of pet ownership for military-connected youth. They also provide classes for Tufts students interested in human-animal related topics, as well as webinars.

If final projects, papers, and exams are getting the best of you in the upcoming weeks, consider a less conventional, furrier option to cope. Tufts Paws for People is hosting an event for Tufts students at Tisch Library on December 10 from 4-6 pm.

If you can’t make the event and don’t have a pet of your own, Freeman says students can volunteer for a variety of animal-related activities, including with Tufts Paws for People. And, students interested further in human-animal interactions can get involved with TIHAI.

“One of the programs we offer is the TIHAI Student Scholars program, which provides funding for events, projects, and programs related to human-animal interaction in the realms of research, education, and service. Students from all three campuses are eligible,” she said. More information on the 2016 program will be available in January.

Marissa Donovan is a registered dietitian and first year student in the MS Nutrition Communication & Behavior Change program with a focus in US Food and Nutrition Policy at the Friedman school. She loves hiking, traveling, finding new restaurants and, of course, Netflix.

New Year, New Trends, New Editors!

2015 is here and with it are our goals for the New Year. Whether you’ve made your New Year’s Resolution (or just a resolution not to make resolutions) the Sprout wants to help you make healthy decisions all year long!

For New Year’s inspiration, take a look at what Matt Moore hopes WON’T happen in 2015.

Interested in trying the controversial ketogenic diet? Mireille Najar explores the use of the high-fat diet for treating epilepsy and cancer and shares a few recipes.

If food is your interest, but you’d like more of a balanced plate, check out Amy Elvidge’s fascinating interview with The Boston Globe‘s food critic Devra First. Learn what it’s like to get paid to eat and where to eat in Chinatown when you’re starving during midterms.

Trying a new fitness routine? Katherine Pett details her first experience taking a class in…parkour! Check out what it’s like to be a newbie in the sport, and consider making an adventurous exercise decision of your own.

We are excited to have two new editors for the new year! Matt Moore, a first-year student in the Agriculture, Food, and Environment program and Katherine Pett, a first year in the Biochemical Molecular Nutrition program, are thrilled to get the ball rolling in 2015 and look forward to reading all your articles!

Finally, make a resolution this year to write for the Sprout! If you’re interested in contributing to a future issue, email us at to submit your ideas.

Here’s to a great start to your new year,

Katherine and Matt

In this Issue:

15 Food and Fitness Trends We Want to See in 2015

by Matt Moore
Fried-crickets-001As 2014 comes to an end, blogs, newspapers, magazines, and professional organizations have revealed their projected food and fitness trends for the following year. The following list joins in on the fun and is a very biased look at 2015 based on no research or evidence whatsoever and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Sprout.


The Basics of a Ketogenic Diet

by Mireille Najjar

The ketogenic diet remains one of the most extreme types of low carbohydrate diets, yet its potential role in tumor regression and pediatric epilepsy treatment has become an increasing topic of study among researchers and health professionals worldwide.


Devra First Getting Paid to Eat: An Interview with Devra First

by Amy Elvidge

A look into the life of the Globes restaurant critic. First shares the reality of her work and advice on how to live the dream as an aspiring gastronomer.



parkour1That Time I Tried Parkour

by Katherine Pett

If you’re still in the market for a New Year’s Resolution, consider trying a new type of exercise. Recently I tried out parkour and had a LOT of fun!

Nutrition News: Filters, Fantasy Football, and Freezers

by Sheryl Carvajal

There are several factors that play into our behaviors surrounding nutrition, from beliefs about food choices to outside factors dealing with the subconscious.  Sometimes, even random and unexpected things can influence how we see, choose, and eat food.

We can't get no satisfaction/S. Carvajal

We can’t get no satisfaction/S. Carvajal

We live in a generation where social media is ever-present and has the power to reach across countries and oceans.  We can see the effects of the growing popularity of platforms like Twitter and Instagram; “selfie,” a word used to describe a photo taken of oneself has taken social media by storm, and has even become the Oxford Dictionaries 2013 word of the year.

Instagram is a photo-sharing smartphone app that you can use to apply filters to enhance the most ordinary of pictures, and often times a hashtag is assigned to increase traffic to your photo.  In addition to the selfie, it isn’t uncommon to see pictures of rainbows, animals, and steaming cups of cappuccino on your feed.  But one particular category of pictures that is filling the cyber photo book is pictures of delicious meals, which many label as #foodporn.  From intricately dressed salads to decadent desserts, taking and looking at these pictures can actually affect one’s appetite.

A study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University suggests that looking at too many pictures of appetizing meals and treats can make eating less enjoyable.   Overexposure to these foods gives the viewer a sense of satisfaction and satiation without actually eating the food.  Essentially, it suggests that with the heightened sense of sight, you’ve already experienced the food, thereby causing the sense of taste to decrease.

While some restaurants have been known to ban patrons from taking pictures of their plates, maybe we should follow the example and save the food for our mouths instead of our eyes.

Food and Football
Whether you’re a lifelong fan of your hometown’s team, you’ve adopted the New England way and cheer on the Patriots every Sunday, or you’re just hoping for another win for your Fantasy team, football is often surrounded by food.  Tailgate food, finger food, and a fridge or cooler full of beer is often the go-to for diehard fans and casual viewers alike.

As college football Bowl Games and the National Championship draw near, and we gear up for Super Bowl Sunday, eating habits may not only be influenced during game time.  A study published in Psychological Science found that NFL fans whose teams lost on Sunday are more likely to consume extra fat and sugar the following Monday.  Compared to their usual consumption, fans of losing teams consumed an average of a 16% more saturated fat; for those whose team won, there was a decrease of about 9% in saturated fat compared to usual consumption.

Football fanatics might lose-eat/S. Carvajal

Football fanatics might lose-eat/S. Carvajal

Though there still may be other factors to consider in eating patterns and behaviors following a win or loss for one’s football team, it may be a good idea to try to be more conscious of your Monday diet, regardless of whether the Patriots (or your favorite team) come out with a “W.”

Fresh vs Frozen debate
As nutrition students, many of us love the idea of cooking with and eating fresh produce.  We hear phrases like “fresh is best” and try to limit pre-packaged foods.  I don’t know about you, but being in this field for so long, whenever I hear the word ‘frozen’ I have a knee-jerk response to associate it with processed foods, though that is not always correct.

It turns out that frozen fruits and vegetables might sometimes be more nutritionally valuable when compared with their fresh counterparts, according to a study done at the University of Georgia in collaboration with the Frozen Food Foundation.  The reason for this is that often times, the produce that you find at the grocery store isn’t at its nutritional peak.  Produce is picked before it is ripe so it can ripen during the transit from the farm to the shelves.

Especially for those items that are out of season, it may be a good idea to take to the freezers at the store, as they are frozen right after harvesting, which locks in the nutritional content.

Of course this isn’t the case if you grow your own fruits and vegetables, or you shop at your local farmer’s market or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), as they don’t lose their nutritional value from a long transit.  However, if you do happen to shop at big name supermarkets, you may want to think twice before overlooking the frozen produce aisle.

Sheryl Lynn Carvajal is an avid Instagram-er and Fantasy Football “coach.”  Though her hometown NFL team is currently and sadly the worst team in the league, she can’t wait to watch Florida State play in the National Championship game! To learn more about her, please visit our Meet Our Writers page.

Technology and nutrition meet at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show By Brandon Ransom

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was every tech nerds dream come true. The world’s largest electronics show never fails to impress. This year’s show featured over 3,000 exhibitors crowding the 1.85 million square feet of the conference’s exhibit space.

As a special addition to the 2013 show, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) sponsored a new segment to the show entitled the Digital Health Summit, which predominantly featured the syncing of mobile health applications with wireless digital health monitoring systems.

Digital health and fitness products at the show monitored everything from the time between bites of food to blood glucose levels. The biggest improvements on these products compare to previous years were in their ability to sync with mobile devices and other cloud based technologies. A majority of the health booths included body monitoring bands as the main method to take measurements such as steps taken, caloric intake, CO2 levels and physical activity levels.

Source: Tech Cocktail

Source: Tech Cocktail

One of the biggest highlights from the show was a buzzing fork called the HAPIfork. The HAPIfork prompts users to take at least 10 seconds between bites during meals. Users of the HAPIfork get a healthy dose of oral vibration if they eat too quickly. The creators of the HAPIfork boast that their vibrating product will increase user’s meal length and curb overeating, because longer meal times that their product promotes allows more time for satiety signals to kick in and aids the overall digestion process.  All this information is conveniently synced with the coinciding HAPIfork health application, which graphically displays the user’s caloric intake and the recorded time between bites.

Data harvesting from these types of sources represent a colossal opportunity in the field of health and nutrition. Enormous amounts of data are going to be harvested from these new mobile health trends. Deciphering this information into easily readable trend data is the next frontier of mobile science and may lead to more efficiently addressing the health issues of our time.  This year’s digital health summit represents the future of health and nutrition. Don’t be left behind!

Brandon Ransom holds a BS in Biology from Morehouse College and is a second year FPAN student specializing in Entrepreneurship and Management in Health and Nutrition. As aspiring inventor/entrepreneur in health and nutrition, he hopes to use technology to help solve the current obesity epidemic. 

Tufts Celebrates Food Day with Mayor Menino

By Lainey Younkin

On October 24, 2011, America celebrated the first nation-wide Food Day in 34 years- what else could a Friedman student ask for?  Sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day “seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life […] to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.”

Through the work of students, faculty, and new president, Anthony Monaco, Tufts University hosted Mayor Thomas M. Menino to talk about his vision for a healthier Boston.

The mayor drew his listeners in by alluding to his “jumbo-sized food agenda.”  He pointed out three “food groups” that guide Boston’s comprehensive food policy: accessible and reasonably priced fresh food; a healthier city; and the food economy.

One of the mayor’s first initiatives in office was to bring supermarkets to low-income neighborhoods in Boston, which he has successfully accomplished.  Twenty-five supermarkets have been opened throughout the city.  Even more importantly, Boston has strived to increase food accessibility to people of all incomes, largely through projects such as Bounty Bucks.  Bounty Bucks is a program that doubles the dollars available to food stamp recipients, and all 25 of the supermarkets opened in Boston accept Bounty Bucks.

At Food Day, Mayor Menino shared his vision for healthier children throughout Boston.  With 40% of children in the Boston Public Schools being overweight or obese, the mayor fought for taking soda and junk food out of the schools.  “My biggest political fight was when we took the soda machines out of the schools,” the mayor said.  The turning point came when his six-year old grandson told him the food at school tasted like cardboard.  “When your grandkids come to you, you get to work,” he said.  Though he had many parents and teachers against him, Menino succeeded in reducing access to junk food in schools.  He said that since then research has shown that kids drink less soda now than they did when it was sold in the schools.  Boston has also recently seen sugary beverages removed from city buildings.  “We will see people making healthier choices because the options that are immediately available are healthier,” said Menino.

Boston’s food economy was the last “food group” of discussion.  Menino mentioned the restaurant industry and acknowledged the good that they do for the community.  Many restaurants support non-profit organizations in Boston, and several chefs donate their time to events such as cooking demonstrations.

It wouldn’t be Food Day without mentioning the 40 food trucks scattered throughout the city.  Menino was partial to Clover Food Truck’s BLT sandwich.  He reminded everyone that these food trucks also “serve up jobs, with 3 to 5 people per truck.”  Clover alone has grown from seven employees to 70 since they opened in Boston.

Finally, Mayor Menino did not forget the root of all things food – agriculture.  He referenced his own CSA as well as farmers’ markets and community gardens that exist throughout Boston.  “Bringing supermarkets and farmers’ markets into neighborhoods brings fresh food into our neighborhoods, gives people access to healthy food, gives people long and healthy lives, and helps create jobs,” Menino said.

The mayor also sponsors the city-wide annual food drive, Boston CAN Share.  The funds raised support the Bounty Bucks program, and the cans go to The Greater Boston Food Bank.

Mayor Menino closed by emphasizing the importance of educating the young children in the city.  He challenged the Tufts community to work together with others in Boston towards nutritious food for our communities.

* Image from Tufts Photography: Alonzo Nichols

Lainey is a first year Nutrition Communication student.  She enjoys running, rock climbing, and traveling to the South.  She hopes to help people have a positive relationship with food.  When not doing school work, she enjoys selling jewelry through her business at Stella and Dot –