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 Fall 2018 Roster (Event Details Subject to Change): 

Beginning to End Hunger: Pierson College Tea with Dr. M. Jahi Chappell, Coventry University 

Thursday, September 27, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Leitner House | 231 Park St., New Haven, CT 06520

Dr. M. Jahi Chappell’s new book, Beginning to End Hunger: Food and the Environment in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Beyond, presents the story of Belo Horizonte, home to one of the world’s most successful city food security programs. Since 1993, malnutrition in Belo Horizonte has declined dramatically, allowing it to serve as an inspiration for Brazil’s widely-praised Zero Hunger programs. Join the YSFP, FES, and Pierson College as we host Dr. Chappell for a book conversation and more, discussing the ways in which holistic approaches to food security may promote policies that end hunger, everywhere. For more event details, click here

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences and Pierson College, with support from the Program in Agrarian Studies.

Shaping China’s Modern Food System: A Conversation with Wanqing Zhou, Brighter Green

Thursday, October 11, 4:30 – 5:30 pm 
Yale-China Association | 442 Temple St., New Haven, CT 06511

China’s food system is going through changes at an unprecedented speed and scale. Rising demand for animal-based foods—and where they come from—is of global concern, as trends in their production and consumption have elicited profound, multi-faceted impacts. These consequences are interconnected, including but not limited to: public health, climate change, ecosystem degradation, animal welfare, and socioeconomic development. Join us and Wanqing as she discusses how civil groups like hers are responding to these challenges to promote more sustainable systems change. For more event details, click here. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale-China Association. 

Seeds, Flavor, and Food Systems: A Conversation with Dan Barber & Michael Mazourek, Row 7 Seed 

Thursday, October 25, 4:30 – 5:30 pm 
Linsly-Chittenden Hall Room 102 | 63 High St., New Haven, CT 06511

Row 7 Seed is the first seed company built on chef-breeder collaboration. Working together, it creates, trials and distributes delicious plant varieties to make an impact in the soil and at the table. It believes flavor can succeed where commodification has failed, that it can change how we eat and, in turn, how we grow. Join us for a conversation on Row 7’s work with two of the company’s co-founders: chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Cornell University professor and plant breeder Michael Mazourek. For more event details, click here.

Eating Animals: Screening and Conversation with Director Christopher Quinn and Caitlin Taylor, MASS Design 

Friday, October 26, 6:30 – 8:30 pm 
Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium | 53 Wall St., New Haven, CT 06511

How much do you know about the food that’s on your plate? Based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by co-producer Natalie Portman, and directed by Christopher Quinn, Eating Animals is an urgent, eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming. Tracing the history of food production in the United States, the film charts how farming has gone from local and sustainable to a corporate Frankenstein monster that offers cheap eggs, meat, and dairy at a steep cost: the exploitation of animals; the risky use of antibiotics and hormones; and the pollution of our air, soil, and water. Spotlighting farmers who have pushed backed against industrial agriculture with more humane practices, Eating Animals offers attainable, commonsense solutions to a growing crisis while making the case that ethical farming is not only an animal rights issue but one that affects every aspect of our lives. Join us for a screening of the film, followed by a conversation with film director Christopher Quinn, and Caitlin Taylor, director at MASS Design Group. For more event details, click here.

This event is co-sponsored by the Whitney Humanities Center and the Yale Animal Welfare Alliance. 

Food Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship: Morse College Tea with Aylon Steinhart, Good Food Institute

Thursday, November 1, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Morse College | New Haven, CT 06511

Clean meat and plant-based alternatives to animal products have become touted as breakthrough solutions in addressing the problems associated with animal agriculture. What does the development of this industry mean for food innovation and social entrepreneurship? For improving our food systems? Join us for a Morse College Tea with Aylon, as he shares more about his work and the food innovation space. 

This event is co-sponsored by Morse College, CITY, and CBEY.

Fermentation & Flavor Science: Arielle Johnson, MIT Media Lab

Thursday, November 8, 5:00 – 6:30 pm 
Center for Innovation, Engineering, and Design | 15 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511

What happens when we dismantle the boundaries between laboratory and kitchen? How do tools in chemistry, engineering, design (and many more fields!) help us better understand the world of food? Join us for a conversation with MIT Media Lab’s Arielle Johnson, as she shares her scientific adventures into experimental cuisine. You’ll also hear about flavor futurism, which might just upend how you think about food systems altogether.

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale Sustainable Food Program, Tsai CITY, and the Yale Landscape Lab.

Chewing the Fat2: An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vitae

Wednesday, November 28, 4:30 – 6:00 pm 
St. Anthony Hall | 483 College St., New Haven, CT 06511

Food historian Karima Moyer-Nocchi will present her recently published book, titled Chewing the Fat: An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vita. Chewing the Fat is based on oral history interviews carried out with Italian women in their nineties.

This highly engaging and visually driven presentation will examine the sociopolitical influence that the fascist era exerted on the formation of the Italian culinary identity, and the role it played in the conceptual development of Italian cuisine as we know it today. The lecture will explore the tenets of oral history in general and then look specifically at how this method of data collection was carried out in her own research. She analyzes the notion of “authenticity” and reveals how some of the best-loved myths of Italian food are part of an invented set of traditions, but explains why those have been an important part of societal healing and cultural progression in Italy.

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale Department of History and St. Anthony Hall.  

Chewing the Fat: Pierson College Tea with Karima Moyer-Nocchi

Thursday, November 29, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Leitner House | 231 Park St., New Haven, CT 06520

What can history offer us in terms of examining and critiquing popular conceptions about food? How can it help us better understand the development of culinary identity, and in turn, ourselves? Join us for an afternoon conversation with food historian Karima Moyer-Nocchi as she shares about her career, research, and more.

This event is co-sponsored by Pierson College.