Food Studies Program

In the Spotlight: Student Tori Cantin

Solutions Prove Easier Than Expected

Tori Cantin

Where are you from originally?
South Portland, ME

What is your major?

Which Food Studies course (s) are you currently enrolled in?
FSP 200 with Jamie Picardy

What have you learned that has surprised you about food?
I was surprised to learn how high hunger rates are in the U.S. and especially in Maine. There’s also a stigma around hunger that people who need food assistance are lazy, poor, drug addicts etc. that just simply isn’t true once you take a minute to learn about how hunger affects everyone. The person that typically needs food assistance is a single parent, elderly, an immigrant, or disabled, and usually only in rough times (like losing a job or other benefits that had been supporting them). I was especially surprised to learn how applicable the concepts I have been learning in my business classes are to today’s food and hunger issues.

How do you hope to continue working in this field once you graduate?
I think that the Food Studies Program has really opened my eyes to a problem that I didn’t really recognize as something immediate that anyone can help out with. My hope is that I can spread this awareness to others, especially fellow business professionals that do have a large impact on the food industry that has yet to be talked about and recognized outside of food studies courses.

In your opinion, what do you think is the most pressing issue related to food and the food industry?
Sustainability. The way the food system is currently established with big businesses controlling not just the production but also the distribution of food is not sustainable. This is evident in how it alienates some people either through placement of grocery stores, hoarding land, and/or product prices which all contribute to the nation’s hunger problem. The land won’t always be able to handle the sort of mass farming that big companies practice and the people won’t be able to sustain the inevitable rise in prices. We need to rethink the globalization of the food industry if we’re to have a sustainable food source for generations to come.

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