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Environmental Science and Policy
This project researched Smith’s food system, and attempted to learn more about the sources of the foods we eat. I wanted to investigate Smith’s food values, and whether there is any commitment to supporting more environmentally or socially friendly methods of growing and distributing food. I conducted interviews, distributed a student survey, and read additional literature on local food projects. The results were encouraging: Smith has already taken some positive steps and is in a position to make many more; students are enthusiastic about local, organic foods on campus, as well as a student garden; and there is a wealth of farmers, organizations, and schools in the area to help facilitate change. The immediate significance of the findings is great; institutions of higher learning should set examples to the students they are educating. If Smith says it is committed to sustainability, then that should be evident in the way the college operates. In the next few years, Smith could lead the way in creating more ethical, more community oriented food policies. And as food is inherently connected to our lives on earth, and the sustainability of our food systems is thus a necessity for survival, the broader significance of such changes is monumental. The experiences students encounter in just four years have lasting impressions, and their life choices will reflect the values and ideas learned at Smith. Our education here does not take place solely in the classrooms.
© 2003 Mira Alexandra Kilpatrick
Kilpatrick, Mira Alexandra, "Is Smith College a “Local Hero”?: Investigating Smith’s Food System" (2003). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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