Chewing the Fat

The Lazarus Events Series for Sustainable Food & Agriculture at Yale, also known as “Chewing the Fat,” is funded through a generous gift from Dr. George and Shelly Lazarus and offers Yale students a chance to learn more about food and farming through guest speakers, culinary workshops, and film screenings. 

People invited to speak as a part of Chewing the Fat represent a range of perspectives on and theories of food systems change, and stretch the bounds of conversations, debates, preconceptions and tropes that  have animated the mainstream “food movement” of years past. Chewing the Fat has been home to practitioners, academics, policymakers, advocates, and activists who generate critical thinking and discussion about food and agriculture, and their relationships to human values, science, and society. Some semesters, the series might be propelled thematically; previous semesters have seen themes such as food law and policy, food and gender, racial justice and food, corporate power and food systems change, and queer food politics. 

If you would like to receive a weekly e-mail reminding you of series events, please click here to join our newsletter.

Chewing the Fat Spring 2019 Roster (Event Details Subject to Change): 

MLK Day Pierson College Tea with Savi Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project

Monday, January 21, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Pierson College Common Room | 261 Park St., New Haven, CT 06511

What connects agriculture, land, and equity? In what ways can racial justice inform the future of land tenure in the American South, and beyond?

Join us for a Pierson College Tea on Martin Luther King Jr. day as we invite Savi Horne, Executive Director of the Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP), to share her insights on agricultural justice law. Director Horne will speak about her decades of experience in coalition-building and connecting socially disadvantaged farmers with the resources and recourse they need.

This event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by Pierson College and the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration.

Farming While Black: A Book Conversation with Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm

Tuesday, January 29, 6:00 – 7:30 pm 
Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale | 211 Park St., New Haven, CT 06511

Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices––from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and community supported agriculture (CSA)––have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to a decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than 2 percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Further, black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to fresh food and healthy natural ecosystems.

Soul Fire Farm, cofounded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Extending this work is Leah’s recent and already widely acclaimed book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land. Join us as we host Leah for a book conversation, and to discuss how you can help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all.

This event is free and open to the public, and is a kick-off event for Afro-American Cultural Center’s Black History Month programming. It is co-sponsored by the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, Endeavors, Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale.

Climate Change and the Future of Food: A Conversation with Max Elder 

Thursday, February 14, 11:45 am
Evans Hall 2430 | 165 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT 06511

In 2018, the Institute for the Future (IFTF) partnered with the World Bank Climate Investment Fund on a body of research related to the Future of Climate Action. The report identified opportunity zones for climate action over the next decade, including artificial intelligence, digital engagement, youth movements, and the new climate economy.

Join us for a lunchtime conversation with Max Elder from IFTF’s Food Futures Lab for a conversation on climate change and the future of food. Max will provide an introduction to IFTF’s work around futures thinking, and ways to consider how food-focused innovation can specifically be a highly-impactful medium for taking action on issues like climate change and more. Here is the link to register.

This event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY)’s Climate Change and Entrepreneurship Program, the Plant-Based Initiative at CBEY, Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY), and Food, Agribusiness and Beverage (F.A.B.) Group at SOM.