Food Studies Program

In the Spotlight: Food Studies Minor Draven Walker

Being the Change

 Draven Walker

Where are you from originally?
Lisbon, Maine

What is you major?
I am an Economics major with an accelerated pathway to a Master's in Policy, Planning, and Management.

Which Food Studies courses are you currently enrolled in?
Currently, I am enrolled in Food and the Environment with Professor Picardy; Food, Power, and Social Justice with Professor Dumont; and Introduction to Food Systems with Professor Hoffman.

What have you learned that has surprised you about food?
Food is culture. Food is political. Food is economical. Food is environmental. When learning about food, I was shocked by how relevant food is to our lives and to all sorts of disciplines. I was surprised to learn of all the systematic issues that arise from food and how retrogressive the overproduction of food has been on the environment and society. Instead, the solutions that I have learned are to alleviate food waste, start talking about food insecurity, and to be politically active in creating food policy that meets these goals.

How do you hope to continue working in this field once you graduate?
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I arrived at college. Taking Food Studies classes was a leap for me, but I am so glad that I have had the experience to learn more about food systems. I hope to take this knowledge with me to graduate school at USM and think about policy to alleviate food waste and hunger.

In your opinion, what do you think is the most pressing issue related to food and the food industry?
The lack of education. Being aware of the issue makes us responsible for it. When we become responsible, we can actually do things about it. Understanding that there are hungry people in the world, in the nation, in the state, in your towns/cities, in your school, and, possibly, in your home is the first step in solving the problem.

Learning why this is happening is the next step. Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

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