The study of food is always interdisciplinary, but this is especially the case when we consider the wicked problems associated with food.
Food is central to being human and central more broadly to being an animal. We eat therefore we are. We eat in order to be. To make sense of food we need to know about agriculture, about evolutionary biology, about sociology and anthropology and history and, well, many other fields. The study of food is always interdisciplinary, but this is especially the case when we consider the wicked problems associated with food, whether with regard to how to produce more food, how to distribute food equitably, how to create delicious foods or how to understand which foods we “should” eat, whether with regard to our own pleasure and nutrition or with regard to the sustainability of food in a changing world.
Rob Dunn, Ph.D., is a Williams Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Applied Ecology and the Senior Vice Provost of University Interdisciplinary Programs at NC State University. Central to all of his work is the sense that big discoveries lurk not only in faraway tropical forests, but also in our backyards and even bedrooms. The unknown is large and wonderful, and Dunn and his collaborators, students, and postdocs love to spend their days in it.