Keynote Speaker:

Tristram Stuart is an international award-winning author, speaker, campaigner, and expert on the environmental and social impacts of food.

His books, The Bloodless Revolution: a cultural history of vegetarianism from 1600 to the present and Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal, have been described as "a genuinely revelatory contribution to the history of human ideas” (The Times) and have been translated into several languages. His TED talk has been watched over 1.7 million times.

Tristram started publicly campaigning on food waste as a lone pioneer in 2002. He has been a principal protagonist in building the global movement that has mobilized hundreds of organizations, millions of individuals, achieved mass behavior change, obtained commitments from the world’s biggest food companies and governments, and a Sustainable Development Goal (12.3) to halve food waste by 2030. Tristram is an official UN Champion of this Global Goal.

The environmental charity he founded, Feedback (, has played a pivotal role in catalyzing and leading the global food waste movement. Feedback has driven changes in supermarket policies and international legislation and consistently punches way above its weight at the highest level globally.

In 2016, he founded Toast Ale ( which upcycles unsold fresh bread into award-winning craft beer. After 3 years of operations, Toast brewed up 1 million slices of surplus bakery bread into delicious, refreshing beer. Toast is brewing in 6 countries. 100% of its distributable profits go to Feedback and other aligned charities worldwide. Its unique impact investment structure, called “Equity for Good”, pledges investors to reinvest any capital gains into planet-saving organizations (for-profit or not-for-profit).

Tristram won the international environmental award in 2011, The Sophie Prize. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Additional Speakers

  • Jenny Kedward, Environmental Specialist, Dakota County
  • Audrey Seligman, Project Coordinator, Waste Not! Food Waste Reduction Project
  • Ayanle Aden, Participant, Waste Not! Food Waste Reduction Project
  • Nicola Dixon, Director of Global Philanthropy, General Mills Inc. Executive Director, General Mills Foundation
  • Jennifer Wagner-Lahr, Senior Director of Innovation & Commercialization, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI)
  • Claire Koelsch Sand, Ph.D. Owner, Packaging Technology and Research, LLC
  • Katherine Dolan, Global Account Director, Leanpath
  • Julie Danzl, Minneapolis Public Schools


Past HFHL Symposia

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2018 Symposium: Meat or No Meat?

April 6, 2018
Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Eating meat is a practice deeply embedded in human history, and animal agriculture has shaped the environments and economies of small and large communities. Should people continue to consume animal products? If so, how should current farming methods change? Keynote speaker Tamar Haspel will set the stage for a conversation exploring the nutritional, environmental, and cultural implications of vegetarian and omnivorous diets.


Tamar Haspel is a journalist who’s been on the food and science beat for the best part of two decades. She writes the James Beard award-winning Washington Post column, Unearthed, which covers food supply issues, and contributes to National Geographic, Discover, and Edible Cape Cod.  When she’s tired of the heavy lifting of journalism, she gets dirty. She and her husband, Kevin Flaherty, raise their own chickens, grow their own tomatoes, hunt their own venison, and generally try to stay connected to the idea that food has to come from somewhere. They also have an oyster farm, Barnstable Oyster, where they grow about 100,000 oysters a year in the beautiful waters off Cape Cod. Haspel revels in the idea that diners pay $3 a pop for their product, and she can eat as many as she wants.

Haspel wrote this piece, Vegetarian or omnivore: The environmental implications of diet, for her Washington Post column.

Linda Alvarez, Ph.D, is interested in exploring the ways in which underrepresented and marginalized groups interact, challenge and resist dominant structures of power. As a political scientist she works within the frameworks of comparative political behavior, political psychology, transnational migration, social movements, race and ethnic politics, food politics and the study violence and trauma among underrepresented and marginalized populations. Her current research includes projects on the political knowledge of Central American migrants in transnational contexts; structural and symbolic violence among Central American farmworkers and slaughterhouse workers in the United States; the role of political threat on the political knowledge and learning of immigrant and African American groups in the United States; inclusivity and intragroup commonality among Afro-Latinos and African Americans in the U.S., and the examination of the role food has played in the imposition and maintenance of systems of power, as well as the resistance to such systems. In her spare time, Dr. Alvarez also volunteers with animal rescue groups in Los Angeles. She is committed to animal rights and food justice activism. Watch Dr. Alvarez's presentation

George Boody, MA, is the former Executive Director and current Science & Special Projects Leader, Chippewa 10% Project, for the Land Stewardship Project. During Boody’s tenure, LSP became a membership organization and expanded its work to encompass four major program areas: Policy and Organizing, Community Based Food Systems, Farm Beginnings, and Membership and Individual Giving. He continues working with initiatives related to soil health, the Root River in southeastern Minnesota, and other special projects. Watch George Boody's presentation!

Michael Clark, Ph.D Candidate, grew up in Los Altos, California. He graduated from Carleton College in 2012 with a B.A. in Biology focusing in Ecology. After graduation he volunteered for the American Prairie Reserve in northern Montana and then worked as a Junior Scientist at the University of Minnesota for David Tilman. He enrolled in UMN’s Natural Resources Science and Management PhD program in the fall of 2014. Mike‘s research focuses on dietary changes and their environmental and health impacts. He was the first author, and corresponding author, for a recent publication, Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice, mentioned by keynote speaker Tamar Haspel in this article, Here’s how much giving up beef helps — or doesn’t help — the planetWatch Dr. Clark's presentation

Karen Jaceldo-Siegl, DrPH, MS, is an assistant professor in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at Loma Linda University. She is the senior nutrition scientist for the Adventist Health Study-2, a cohort study of over 97,000 adults in the US and Canada funded by the National Cancer Institute, and primarily serves as a research mentor for several masters, doctoral students, and post-doctoral fellows. In the last few years, she has focused her research on validating questionnaire data, biomarkers of dietary intake, health benefits of vegetarian diets as well as soy and nut consumption; and has several publications on these topics in peer-reviewed journals. More recently she has been involved in examining the environmental impacts of vegetarian diets. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at San Antonio, M.S. in nutrition from the University of Incarnate Word, and DrPH in nutrition at Loma Linda University. Watch Dr. Jaceldo-Siegl's presentation!

David Klurfeld, Ph.D., has been National Program Leader for Human Nutrition in the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2004. He is responsible for the scientific direction of the intramural human nutrition research conducted by USDA laboratories. Prior to government service, he was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition & Food Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan for 11 years. Before that he was on the faculty of The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for 15 years. Watch Dr. Klurfeld's presentation!


2013 Symposium: Food and the Environment: Healthy Planet, Healthy People

October 14 & 15, 2013

The 5th Annual Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Symposium and Food Summit, co-hosted by two of the University's flagship institutions dedicated to public health and well-being, the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, was held October 14 & 15 at the Commons Hotel (Oct. 14) and the Landscape Arboretum (Oct. 15). The 2013 summit focused on food and the environment: the impact of climate and environmental changes on food production and conversely, the impact of food production on the environment.

Speakers Included:

Cynthia E. Rosenzweig: American climatologist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, located at Columbia University, "who helped pioneer the study of climate change and agriculture." Since 1993, Rosenzweig has headed NASA's "Climate Impacts" research group. Dr. Rosenzweig's work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Task Force on Data was recognized with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded jointly to Al Gore and to the IPCC Task Force.

Craig Cox: coordinates the research and advocacy on agriculture, renewable energy and climate change at the Environmental Working Group as Senior Vice President. Dr. Cox is the former executive director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and has worked on agricultural policy and on soil and water conservation issues for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences.

Keith Wiebe: is the Deputy Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Agriculture Development Economics Division where he leads research and policy analysis relating to resource use, agricultural productivity, and food security at household, regional, and global levels. Prior to joining the FAO, Dr. Wiebe was Deputy Director of the Resource and Rural Economics Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

Michelle Wander: is the Director of the Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program and Associate Professor of Soil Fertility/Ecology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. She currently serves on the National Soil and Water Conservation Society's Science and Policy Committee and the eOrganic Leadership Team.

Cristina Tirado: has been working on food, agriculture, health, climate, and sustainable development with WHO, FAO, governmental and nongovernmental organizations and universities worldwide for 20 years. Currently she serves as Food Safety adviser for the Pan American Health Organization and is adjunct professor at the School of Public Health of the University of California at Los Angeles.

Bruce E. Dale: is a professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University and former Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Dr. Dale specializes in studies of renewable energy sources, and is currently working on developing sustainable systems to convert plant matter to fuels, food and animal feed.

Click here for more details.

2012 Symposium: Minnesota Leaders in Food and Health

October 1 & 2, 2012

Presented by the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

TCF Bank Stadium (October 1) and The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (October 2)

October 1, research day at the TCF Stadium, Minneapolis:

Conference Summary: The goal of this year's Healthy Foods, Healthy lives research symposium was to highlight and showcase award-winning research led and conducted by world-renowned, award-winning University of Minnesota faculty members in food, health, and agricultural sciences. The intended outcome was for attendees to be more informed about the impact and contributions that 'homegrown' research is having on improving the lives of not only Minnesotans but people around the globe. University scientists presented cutting-edge research and shared their findings and perspectives on various topics along the farm to fork continuum. At the end of the symposium, it is our hope that attendees were able to:

  • Understand how honey bees impact human health. (Marla Spivak, Ph.D. & Linda Halcón, Ph.D., MPH)
  • Understand current food safety and protection issues. (Michael Osterholm, Ph.D. & Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Ph.D.)
  • Understand and discuss the neural regulation of food intake as well as the environment and their relation to obesity. (Allen Levine, Ph.D. & Simone French, Ph.D.)
  • Understand the role of food compounds in preventing cancer. (Stephen Hecht, Ph.D. & Vince Fritz, Ph.D.)

The keynote presentation was given by Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), who discussed his vision for the future of food and health research and funding

The symposium's audience included representatives from multiple sectors such as public health, nutrition, medical science, environmental and natural resource sciences, production agriculture, business, public policy, school administration, the health care insurance industry, research, as well as concerned citizens and parents.

October 1, evening event at University Research and Outreach Center (UROC), Minneapolis

"Good Food: An Everyday Right -- How Do We Make This Happen?" BRYANT TERRY, M.A., chef, food justice activist, and author of three books, including his latest The Inspired Vegan, and former fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program. From his website: "Bryant has worked to build a more just and sustainable food system, and cooking has been an important tool for illuminating the intersections of poverty, structural racism, and food insecurity. He uses the sensual pleasures of the table to shift people's attitudes, habits, and politics in effort to ensure that everyone in this country of abundance has access to healthful food."

October 2, a day of applications at the MN Landscape Arboretum, Chaska

From national food activist and acclaimed chef Bryant Terry to hometown youth bringing healthful food to their community and using it as a basis for a business, during the second day of the Healthy Food Summit, attendees encountered the people who are taking on food safety, justice and personal health challenges head-on.
Change agents come in all forms and formats - regardless, change happens one person at a time - the key is effective programs that instigate this change, and encourage people to carry it forward. This day was about celebrating these agents of change and finding ways for attendees to increase their own personal and professional potential for change through food. The goal of this day was to inspire participants to identify at least one thing they could apply immediately (in whatever their work and/or personal life) to take an action - become a change agent in any arena, from education, policy making, health care, farm production, food processing, to the kitchen.


Bryant Terry presented his clear view and keen insights into healthful food access and food justice issues. He made it clear how food access is a critical consideration as we create positive change in how we produce and process healthful food for everyone in our communities. Attendees entertained as well as informed about the urban agriculture movement as Terry demonstrated a simple, inexpensive, vegan dish while he told his story of becoming an acclaimed chef, cookbook author, and food justice advocate.

Case Studies

Attendees heard from leaders in Minnesota who are making changes in the food system and who responded to information and research presented by the previous day's speakers. Attendees also found out who is working on community programs that are bringing healthy foods to entire communities in new, more sustainable ways.

Speakers included:

  • Leaders of the "Kwanzaa Community's Body and Soul Project" who discussed their project using health coaches & support network to improve health in North Minneapolis.
  • Members of the Farmers' Legal Action Group's (FLAG), who discussed their "Harvesting Healthier Food Project," a project to empower Hmong farmers to produce safer and healthier food.
  • Leaders of the Minneapolis public school system food service, discussed how they are pulling out warming ovens and bringing stoves and cooking back into Minneapolis Public Schools in order to serve more nutritious, healthy, tasty food.
  • University of Minnesota apple breeders, who have created a number of award-winning apples such as HoneyCrisp and Zestar! They discussed how climate change has influenced fruit production in Minnesota and the importance of a healthy bee population.
  • A number of brief youth presentations were very inspiring and hopeful, highlighting the role that young people play in leading change in their communities.

Click here for more details.

2011 Symposium: Optimizing Food Systems for Human Health

October 10 & 11, 2011

Presented by the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

University Hotel Minneapolis (formerly the Radisson Hotel), East Bank, University of Minnesota (October 10) and The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (October 11)

Conference Summary: This symposium examined the health impacts of current food system practices, from production, through processing, food manufacturing, distribution and consumption. The goal was to identify critical points in the food system where intervention can improve human health, exploring both 'conventional' and 'sustainable' food system approaches. Our goal was to find common purpose, presenting research and best practice case studies that represent the innovative integration of human health research and food system decision-making. Speakers brought together knowledge and expertise from public health, medical science, environmental and natural resource sciences, production agriculture, business and public policy to provide a framework for coordinated, collaborative research and policy.

The first day of the conference (October 10) focused on the research side of these issues, with academic presentations by experts from across the globe and representing many sectors (academia, government, industry, NGOs). On the second day (October 11) we presented best practice case studies representing the applied side of health promotion in the context of food production, delivery and consumption. How are communities engaging in creative strategies to improve their own food environments, and what are industry, academia, government, and non-profits doing to support improved health outcomes across all populations?

This symposium sought to examine the health impacts of current food system approaches and the role the University of Minnesota has to play in finding collaboration from across disciplines within the University and across sectors throughout the state and nation. Therefore, the outcome of this two-day symposium was to build a collaborative framework through which researchers can work with community groups, policy makers, food producers, processers and manufacturers, and public health groups to improve human health through optimizing the food system.

2010 Symposium: Food for Thought

September 30 & October 1, 2011

Presented by the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Poor diet contributes to four of the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes), and it has been estimated that healthier diets could reduce $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and lost lives. One approach to improving the American diet, as recommended in the 2010 USDA dietary guidelines, is that we eat more plants – fruits, vegetables, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

The Food for Thought Summit, a program of the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, presented emerging scientific research that adds new insight into just how important these plants are for human health and why. Leading scientists gave updates on their latest research and case studies on the factors that can help motivate people to improve their health by eating more plants.

The Symposium took place over two days. Click on the following for information on each days' agenda:

Day 1 Agenda (.pdf): Plant Foods for Human Health
Day 2 Agenda (.pdf): Pack Your Menu with Powerhouse Plants

The purpose of the symposium was to generate exciting discussions that can lead to consensus on the controversial topics and/or recommendations for research needed for their resolution. If you are interested in working with the Institute on any of the key issues outlined in our second symposium, or if you have thoughts or suggestions regarding future topic areas, please send us an email.