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The Future of Food

The Future of Food

Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions invites you to begin your NC State journey by joining with scholars from across campus in this unique online class.

Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions:
The Future of Food

The topic of The Future of Food includes The History of Food, Making More Food, Next Generation Food, Food Equity and Justice, and Food and Sustainability. The subject matter was derived from NC State faculty members along with subject matter experts.

How do we produce enough food for a growing population and how can we distribute food equitably? How will we produce food in the future?

These wicked problems are both global and local, and we have to think about them in terms of the future as well as our day-to-day lives. Most importantly, the only way to address any wicked problem is to work together as a diverse team of scholars

Visit our Incoming Students Resources page

Learn how to access the course and find helpful resources as you start your journey with the Pack!

In this course, pay attention to the things you think you’re least interested in, because they may be the ones that change you the most.

Dr. Rob Dunn

Senior Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary University Programs
William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor,
Department of Applied Ecology

Course Instructors

  • Melissa Ramirez
  • Jason Flores

Course Introduction

  • Rob Dunn – The Future of Food (podcast)

Eating in America – Lessons from the Past

  • Jim Holland – The History of Maize (video)
  • Jim Holland – Saving Genetic Diversity in Seed Banks (video)
  • Jennifer Archambault – Freshwater Mussels (gallery)
  • John Millhauser – The World Is Our Oyster; Don’t Mess It Up (video)
  • Matthew Morse Booker – Filth Into Food? Lessons from the Past (video)
  • Tim Kraft – Food Supply Chains and COVID-19 (video)
  • Jean Ristaino – Consequences of Disease (podcast)

Food in a Changing Climate

  • Kathie Dello – A Climate-Changed North Carolina (video)
  • Dave Tarpy – Honey Bees in the Larger Context of Pollination (video)
  • Margarita López-Uribe – What the History of Squash Bees Can Tell Us (podcast)
  • Elsa Youngsteadt – Why We Need Bees (podcast)
  • Rubén Rellán Álvarez – The Future(s) of Corn(s) (video)
  • Nora Haenn and Angel Elisa Cruz – People on the Move (and Sometimes Not) (podcast)

Eating in America Today

  • Sarah Ash – America’s Fractured Relationship with Food (podcast)
  • Sarah Bowen – Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems (podcast)
  • Mary E. Haskett – Food Insecurity Here At Home (video)
  • Ondulla T. Toomer – Food Safety and Defining Food Allergens (video)
  • Ondulla T. Toomer – Laboratory Assessment of Food Allergens (podcast)
  • Ondulla T. Toomer – Import Food Safety, GMOs and Allergenic Food Proteins (podcast)
  • Jason A. Delborne – When Biotechnology Goes “Wild”: GE Chestnut Trees (video)
  • Benjamin J. Reading and Linnea K. Andersen – Where Does Our Seafood Come From? (video)
  • Maria Gallardo-Williams [Live Fireside Chat Guest]

Food and Sustainability

  • Francis L. de los Reyes III – Diving Deeper Into Food Waste (video)
  • Francis L. de los Reyes III – The Complicated Issue of Human Waste (video)
  • Daniela Sofia Jones – Data-Driven Decisions for Food and Energy (video)
  • Adam Bensley – Transforming Food Waste Into a Resource (video)
  • Matt Ball – Composting at NC State (video)
  • Khara Grieger – STEPS to Tackle Our Phosphorus Paradox (video)
  • Erin McKenney [Live Fireside Chat Guest]

Hopeful Futures of Food

  • Rodolphe Barrangou – Stories of CRISPR (video)
  • Rodolphe Barrangou – Next-Generation Foods and CRISPR Engineering (video)
  • Jennifer Kuzma – Responsible Innovation in Genetic Engineering (video)
  • Katie Barnhill-Dilling – Chestnut Restoration and Tribal Sovereignty (video)
  • Kirsten Paige – Listening to Daily Life in the Bosavi Rainforest (podcast)
  • Kofi Boone – Re-Imagining Local Landscapes (video)
  • Kamal Bell – Embodying Sankofa (video)
  • Nancy Strickland Fields – Reseeding a Legacy of Culture and Knowledge (video)

Other Presenters

  • Anna Gibson – Emailing Your Instructors (video)
  • Anna Gibson – Addressing Your Instructors (video)
  • Jane Lubischer – Decision-Making and the Shadowy Brain (video)
  • Jane Lubischer – The Science of Learning (Video)
  • Christina Hammock Koch – Yesterday’s Coffee is Also Tomorrow’s Coffee (video)
  • Chris L. Hawn – We Keep Us Safe: Building a Web of Social Action (video) 
  • Ryan Emanuel – Climate Change and Environmental Justice (video)

2022 Student Outreach Leaders

  • Nicholas Cooke, Political Science
  • William Grochocinski, Computer Science
  • Micky Hanlon, Architecture
  • Amanda Lewis, Biological Sciences
  • Stephen McGuinness, Textile Engineering/Polymer and Color Chemistry
  • Nirmiti Nerkar, Industrial Engineering
  • Emma Pleasants, Human Biology
  • Madeline Saltzman, Business Administration and International Studies
  • Sarah Shiflett, Elementary Education
  • Hayley Walden, Social Work
  • Morgan Walker, Biological Engineering
  • Sneha Nandapradeepan, Biological Sciences

The NC State University Libraries

The Libraries followed this summer’s Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions course with the “Future of Food” event series throughout the fall semester with panel discussions and presentations that further explore the issues raised in the WPWS. Event topics included meat alternatives, insect proteins, and genetically engineered foods. Some of the events even included tastings of foods like Barvecue, Beyond Burger, and an insect stir fry. 

Held in the D.H. Hill Jr. Library’s Fishbowl Forum, the series was free and open to the public.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Meat Alternatives
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Insect Proteins
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Prospects and Problems for Near-Future GE Foods
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Extreme Possibilities of Genetic Engineering