NYU Steinhardt News

Dr. Amy Bentley Presents The Landscape of American Food

Professor Amy Bentley"America has always been considered the land of milk and honey; and with the rise of agriculture as big business, this idea became fixed in our minds," explained Nutritionist Amy Bentley in her talk The Landscape of American Food. The lecture, which took place on September 10th, examined American eating habits and food trends in the context of United States history.

Bentley addressed a crowd of fifty Steinhardt alumni and friends during the first installment of the three-part September Speaker Series hosted by the Alumni Relations Office. The lively and interactive discussion offered members of the Steinhardt community an opportunity to hear from the one the school's star faculty members.

The Landscape of American Food, which focused on the evolution of "food" from the farming and production to the consumption and preparation, within the framework of larger historical events, such as the Industrial Revolution which brought about an increased use of and dependency on petroleum; WWII and the Baby Boom which led to innovations in the way we buy and consume; the Science evolution and the rise of genetically engineered crops; and the new and ever emerging conscience which is causing a spike in the demand for organic, as well as the growing food-to-table movement.

Bentley also examined in her talk the numerous factors impacting the American diet today; global warming, shifts in the economy, and the emergence of gourmet culture and the rise of the celebrity chef stand out among an ever-growing list. She continued on to explain how current U.S. dependency on large, self-service grocery stores offers consumers affordable options allowing quality to be usurped by the American demand for convenience. Bentley also explored the recent rise in grocery store alternatives -- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's), farm subsidies -- and stressed the importance of making healthy, thoughtful food choices available to all Americans, regardless of income.

To read more about Dr. Amy Bentley, please click here.

The Landscape of American Food was the first lecture in the three-part September Speaker Series. To learn more or to register for upcoming talks, click here.