Food is the centerpiece of a Michigan State University (MSU) public awareness campaign led by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Food @ MSU seeks to provide knowledge so consumers can make better informed decisions about their food and their health. The campaign is rooted in communication.
Additionally, a key component of the campaign is a series of community roundtable discussions centered on specific food topics. Scientists, farmers, consumers, policymakers and others are invited. They join host and moderator Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-author of “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.”
To serve as your trusted partner in conversations about food and where it comes from, including its impact on our health and our planet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Food @ MSU?
Food @ MSU is public awareness campaign geared at listening to consumers and providing information and knowledge to make informed decisions about food, and its impact on our health and the planet.
What is Our Table?
Our Table is part of the Food @ MSU initiative. Our Table is a series of public roundtable discussions MSU will host in various communities, bringing together food experts, agricultural producers, health professionals and community members to listen to each other and foster trust and mutual understanding so that everyone will be able to make more informed choices about food. Guests at Our Table will be from the local community as well as the MSU community.
Is there an actual table?
Yes! ‘Our Table’ was built by Nate Shaver of MSU Shadows, a group within the Department of Forestry that takes fallen trees from campus and turns them into works of art. It travels from community to community with us as we address issues from food access to sustainability.
Who is Sheril Kirshenbaum and how is she involved in Food @ MSU?
Sheril Kirshenbaum, whose background is in science communication, is the host of Our Table. She is the author of the book “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future.” Sheril is passionate about food and works at the intersection of science and people.
Why is this initiative important?
Studies show that all too often people are turning to their smart phones and getting misinformation, especially when it comes to questions about food. MSU wants to be a trusted partner on everything food, and we hope to inspire meaningful conversations about food in homes, in communities and around the world.
Who is involved from the MSU community?
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is leading Food @ MSU, although it is a university-wide initiative from MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. Cross campus partnerships will make this initiative stronger and increase the ability to reach more of the public, so you will see other colleges and institutes joining as well.
What is the MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll?
Food @ MSU conducted the first MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll in July 2017. This nationally representative poll found that over a third of people think that non-GMO foods do not contain genes. For the record, all food contains genes. It also showed that academic scientists are more trusted than scientists from government and industry sectors.
What are the Food Fellows?
MSU plans to name its first cohort of Food Fellows soon. Food Fellows are scientists working on different facets of food research that have a desire and willingness to communicate about their work to the public. They will help answer questions from consumers, as well as generate content for the website and for the media.
How can I stay informed about Food @ MSU?
“Our Table” events and community engagement
Food Fellows, academic and research involvement
- Stephanie Vasko, Center for Interdisciplinarity, College of Arts and Letters
- Dr. Stephanie E. Vasko collaboratively develops research protocols for working with Food @ MSU, aids in designing/identifying funding programs and in-person events for researchers, connects researchers to the events and marketing teams, and aids the other Food @ MSU sub-groups in integrating MSU researchers into events and programming. She also serves as the liaison between the College of Arts and Letters and Food @ MSU.
- Holly Whetstone, ANR Communications and Marketing