Farm to Institution Series

Join 3 UNC MPH/RD students to learn more about farm to institution! These students, Celeste Kurz, David Gaviria, and Ellina Wood, hosted a month-long Farm to Institution Series with a vision of exposing the public to the realities of the food system and facilitating connections between farmers, chefs, nutrition educations, dietitians, and other stakeholders. They brought together various stakeholders in production, culinary, and dietetics to speak about farm to school, outreach (i.e., WIC, SNAP-Ed, etc), hospital, and correctional facility. Topics discussed ranged from why farm to institution is important to how farm to institution impacts health, equity, and the community.

Below you will find links to the recorded videos with their respective panelists.

Please contact Celeste Kurz ( with any questions.

  • Farm to School I: Early Childhood and Primary Education
    • Emily Jackson – Growing Minds Program Director, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    • Lynne Privette, RD, LDN – Registered Dietitian, Chartwells K-12: Carrboro City Schools
    • Cyndie Story, PhD, RDN, CC, SNS – Owner, Culinary Solution Centers, LLC
    • Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, CC – Owner, Healthy Regards, LLC
    • Lauren Weyand, MDA, RDN, LD – Director of Nutrition Services, Craven County Schools
    • Alice Lenihan, MPH, RD, LDN – Global Clinical Advisor, Special Olympics International
  • Farm to School II: Community and Higher Education
    • Krystal Oriadha, BBA, MBA – Senior Director of Programs and Policy, National Farm to School Network
    • Tracey Bates, MPH, RDN, LDN, FAND – School Nutrition Specialist, NC Department of Public Institution
    • Kyle Parker, BA – Coordinator, Edible Campus UNC
    • Kelli Wood, MS, RD, LDN – Registered Dietitian, Aramark
    • Michael Gueiss, ACF, Chef de Cuisine, CIA Pro Chef Level 3 – Senior Executive Chef, Carolina Dining Services
    • Heather Barnes – Marketing Specialist, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Farm to Outreach
    • Abby Bowdish – Co-Chair, Hope Gardens
    • Rachel Bearman – Executive Director, Meals on Wheels Orange County, NC
    • Kathryn Hoy, MFN, RDN, LDN – Curriculum Design Extension Associate, North Carolina State University: Steps to Health SNAP-Ed
    • Maritza Mata – Director of Operations, AMEXCAN
  • Farm to Hospital
    • Olivia Weinstein, MS, RD, LDN – Culinary Nutrition Manager, Boston Medical Center
    • Lindsay Allen, BA, MS – Farm Manager & Operation Manager, Higher Ground Farm & Boston Medical Center
    • Latchman Hiralall, DTR – Food Pantry Manager, Boston Medical Center
  • Farm to Correctional Facility
    • Phillip Sykes, BS – General Manager – Food and Janitorial Products, North Carolina Correction Enterprises
    • Leslie Soble, MA – Research Fellow, Food in Prison Project: Impact Justice
    • Alicia Bicksler, MS, RD, LSN – Central Region Dietitian, NC Department of Public Systems: Prisons

Sponsored by UNC Food for All Initiative, UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and the UNC Department of Nutrition

CURE-ious Chemistry Course

Chemistry 290 – is an APPLES service-learning Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) course that partners with the Carolina Community Garden (CCG).  Students work in the garden to plant, care for, and/or harvest purslane (Portulaca oleracea), an edible medicinal plant, depending on the season.

Dr. Nita Eskew, Director of Undergraduate Laboratories in the Department of Chemistry) teaches the  “Chemistry of Purslane” course.

For more information, see the article in Endeavors.

Inaugural Carolina Food Summit to Give Answers and Answer Questions

Over 40 Area Chefs, Non-Profit Leaders, and Scholars to Gather


The inaugural Carolina Food Summit will kick off the 2016 TerraVita Food Festival on September 28 and 29. Over forty chefs, writers, non-profit leaders, restauranteurs, and scholars will gather to share perspectives on and tackle challenges within North Carolina’s growing food scene — from field, to school cafeteria, to the area’s most lauded restaurants. The Carolina Food Summit is a partnership between, the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, TerraVita, and the UNC-Chapel Hill Food For All 2015-2017 university-wide research theme.

This gathering of change makers for North Carolina’s foodways is designed to break the traditional conference model. Jeff Polish (The Monti) is emcee for “The Story of Place,” the Wednesday afternoon storytelling session that sets a compelling, conversational tone for the Carolina Food Summit and features area chefs Bill Smith (Crook’s Corner), Angela Salamanca (Centro),Vansana Nolintha (Bida Manda), and others. Southern Cultures, the award-winning journal published by UNC Press and the Center for the Study of the American South is the Summit’s campus host for this event.

Marcie Cohen Ferris (Co-Chair, UNC Food for All and Professor, American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill) has crowdsourced input from across the South for her “State of North Carolina Food” address. Read more >>

UNC Jewish Studies Offers Food For All Faculty Grants

(The following exciting news comes from our friends at the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.)

NEW FOR 2016-2017: Food for All Course Development and Course Enhancement Grants

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s university-wide academic theme for 2015-2017 is “Food for All: Local and Global Perspectives.” With this theme, the University is challenging all areas of UNC to examine wide-ranging topics including food cultures and nutrition, food security, world hunger and more. The two years of “Food for All” includes projects, services and events on campus and in the Chapel Hill community. To support this University initiative, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies is offering course enhancement and course development funds, which will support faculty who are interested in incorporating a Jewish food component into courses to be taught in the academic year of 2016-2017. Visit the faculty grants page for more information and the application form. The deadline for applications is May 24, 2016, 5pm.

For more information, visit the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at

AMST 375 Weekly Media Digest

This weekly digest is curated by the teaching team of Food in American Culture (AMST 375 – Spring 2016), and appears in student inboxes every Friday. The chosen media represent current examples of food writing that showcase voices of American foodways and feed off the themes we discuss in class. And maybe, they’ll help inspire a growing community of food geeks at UNC! (To suggest a featured story, email by Thursday.)

This list was sent out Friday, March 25.

They fed the civil rights movement. Now are black-owned barbecue joints dying?
by Jim Shahin – Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2016

When Chefs Become Famous Cooking Other People’s Food
The Sporkful – NPR, March 22, 2016
This is a great 20-minute listen–perfect for a car ride to wherever you may be going this weekend.

Julia Child Marathon to Stream on Twitch as Gaming Site Widens Focus
by Nick Winfield – New York Times, March 15, 2016
“Twitch plans to stream all 201 episodes of “The French Chef” after the success of a streaming session featuring the landscape painter Bob Ross.”

Garden and Gut
by Matt Hartman – The Awl, March 9, 2016
The consumption of the New South.

Please Stop Writing Racist Restaurant Reviews
by Serena Dai – Eater, March 23, 2016
“Stereotypes and misperceptions about food matter, because distaste for a people’s food is a tangible way to express distaste for the people themselves.”

Will the Restaurant Industry Survive Stricter Immigration Screening?
by Amy McCarthy – Eater, March 4, 2016
How one popular campaign proposal could affect undocumented workers.

American Studies students explore food identity with new blog

Kristen Lee snipped fresh kale from the Davis Library edible garden to jazz up her macaroni and cheese.

Kristen Lee snipped fresh kale from the Davis Library edible garden to jazz up her macaroni and cheese.

“Food is communicative.”
“Food breeds memories.”
“You had me at brunch!”

We’re thinking a lot about what makes food so important in AMST 375: Food in America. The course explores the foodways of the United States by intricately studying history through its accompanying food voices.

Susanna Jenkins features campfire sweet potatoes in her food diary for AMST 375: Food in America.

Susanna Jenkins features campfire sweet potatoes in her food diary for AMST 375: Food in America.

To critically study the past while placing their own identities into the contemporary conversation around foodways, Professor Marcie Cohen Ferris asked students to delve deeper with a food diary assignment. Through an essay, a week of food documentation and photos, students share why food plays a role in their lives. Dig into their stories on our blog:

Sara Tane reminds us of the classic BLT at Merritts Grill.

Sara Tane reminds us of the classic BLT at Merritts Grill.

Southern Things

Undergraduate and graduate students in the American Studies course (AMST 489) “Writing Material Culture” chose southern things related to Foodways in connection with the 2015-2017 university-wide academic theme, “Food for All: Local & Global Perspectives.”

Our experience is shaped by the material world around us. The South is found in objects, foods, landmarks, and environments that bridge everyday lived experience with a broader shared imaginary of this place, its past, and its future. From the utilitarian teato the extraordinary—a scoured skillet, a worn shuttle, Scarlett O’Hara’s green dress, cotillion gloves worn once, teacakes baked with love and desire, Tennsy Mama’s poundcake—Southern things shape the nuanced substance of everyday life in the most cherished and reviled of American regions. Taken from the shelf or out of the kitchen, we seek to examine the singularity of these things, revealing unexpected encounters with a hidden iconography of the South Volume 4 of Southern Things is a compilation of insight, poetic vision, and savoring the South. Written, edited, and produced by the seminar editorial team in Writing Material Culture in American Studies and Folklore at UNC at Chapel Hill.

Under the direction of editor-in-chief Dr. Bernard L. Herman in fall 2015, students completed Issue 4 (Foodways).  Read with delight!


Carolina Campus Community Garden Hosts Greek Weed Dating Event

Greek Weed Dating eventThe Carolina Campus Community Garden recently hosted two UNC Greek organizations, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and Kappa Sigma Fraternity for a “Greek Weed Dating” event in the garden.  Held November 13, 2015, 1:00 – 2:15 (a perfect fall day, we might add) 16 students came out to the event.  Participants spent about 15 minutes at stations before moving on to the next one and each time got the chance to meet and work with someone new.  Throughout the event, participants got to do activities such as weeding (the namesake of the event), chopping and turning compost, digging a hole that will be a digging area in a new children’s garden, and spreading wood chips on our pathways.  At the end of the event, everybody joined back together for more conversations and refreshments.

According to Alpha Chi member, Samantha Forlenza, “All of the Alpha Chi’s really enjoyed [the event].”  Moreover, Kappa Sigma member Jonah Keyserling said, “Everyone there said that they had a great time” and that he would like for more people to come to the garden in the future.

We are thankful for everyone who came out and participated and appreciate all the help that it was for the garden.  With help like this, the garden is able to provide fresh produce to University housekeepers who might not otherwise have easy access to fresh produce.

Anybody is invited and welcome to come volunteer in the garden.  The garden hosts weekly open volunteer times Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday from 3-5pm.  The garden also periodically host other events, like this one.  More information about the Carolina Campus Community Garden can be found at

Theola Priscilla Green Martin’s recipe for Sweet Potato Pie

Dr. Sharon Holland, Professor and Associate Chair in UNC’s Department of American Studies, has shared her grandmother Theola Priscilla Green Martin’s recipe for Sweet Potato Pie. Here’s the filling. You provide the crust of your choice. Dr. Holland suggests a “French-inspired buttery crust, circa 1970s.”

Mrs. Martin was raised in Oxford, North Carolina and was a fifth generation North Carolinian. “My grandmother was one of the most ethical people I have ever known,” writes Holland, “and she gifted to me my love of long-needle pines and woods on a cold winter morning.”

Continue reading

Duke Announces Possible World Food Policy Center

The world’s approach to food policy challenges is largely siloed. Some groups focus primarily on addressing obesity, while others work to combat hunger. Others focus on food safety and security. Still others concentrate on the environmental effects of modern food production.

But just as pulling a loose thread can cause a knitted sweater to unravel, addressing a single food problem in isolation can have unintended consequences. Duke University hopes to address that phenomenon by exploring the possibility of a new World Food Policy Center that would encourage cross-disciplinary problem-solving. The effort also responds to growing student interest in understanding food systems. Read More >>

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