Food Studies Program

In the Spotlight: Food Studies Minor Zachary Cross

The Business of Food

Zachary Cross


Zachary is originally from Mexico, Maine, where he attended Mountain Valley High School in the neighboring town of Rumford, a small paper mill town in the Western foothills of Maine. He is currently majoring in Business with a focus on small business/entrepreneurship. He recently declared a minor in Food Studies.

Internship Placement
During this semester, Zachary has been interning with Sodexo, the food service company on the USM campus. During his internship, he has participated in a number of different activities, including  job shadowing and helping with fundraising programs like food drives and Toys for Tots. Furthermore, he has had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of cafeteria-style food service here on campus.

This particular location of Sodexo strives to buy locally - a differentiating factor from some other locations of Sodexo. This has given Zachary an unusual advantage; the daily business functions of upper management are more closely tied to the community in addition to relating to its nationwide parent company.

Pressing Issues Related to Food and the Food Industry
Zachary firmly believes that people should always have access to the food they need in order to stay healthy. He also believes that the current methods for growing food have major environmental impacts that have been largely overlooked, and that these methods won’t be sustainable forever. In his own words, “finding a way to change the way we grow food will be crucial to have the ability to feed a growing world population. As we continue to lose farmland..., we will have to take on this issue soon in order to feed the people here with in America. There are so many pressing issues related to food, I could go on for days about it. These issues have been growing and must see change now to begin to contain these ... problems.”

Hopes After Graduation
As an entrepreneur, Zachary would like to open a for-profit business that is food-related, but that also provides back to the community in which it is based. Zachary is also interested in learning more about hydroponics and the future of technology in that field. 

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