Spring Symposium

2021 Food For Thought Symposium

Food for Thought IU's premier spring symposium will examine the relationships between food, family, and community while exploring issues of food security, global nutrition, and environmental sustainability.

This four-day virtual symposium will take place via Zoom from Wednesday, April 14 to Saturday, April 17.

Sessions will include panels, discussions, and conversations with community leaders, policy experts, and academics from around the country. Each day will also include a cooking demonstration by renowned chefs who will showcase a range of global cuisines and recipes that you can make at home.

Learn more and register


See the schedule below to register for each day's events.

Day 1: Wednesday, April 14 - Life on SNAP

Register for Day 1


Welcome Address: Food for Thought Project at IU


Welcome address to begin the first Food for Thought: IU Spring Food Conference sponsored by U.S. State Department’s Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Grant


Marria Peduto, IU Hamilton Lugar School


Session 1: Good and Cheap: Cooking with SNAP

Leanne Brown, Author of New York Time’s Best-Selling Cookbook, speaks about her experience creating meals for only $4 a day, how the SNAP benefits system could change to best address food insecurity, and answer audience questions about how to create meals for any budget.

Leanne Brown (Main Speaker), Author of Good and Cheap
Sadie Neuman (Moderator), Indiana University


Chat with Hutton Honors College Students

A special session for Hutton Honors College Students to connect directly with Leanne Brown and discuss her work.


Session 2: IU Dining Cooking Demo


The first of four cooking tutorials throughout the conference, Executive Chef David Tallent of IU Catering will prepare one of the meals from Good and Cheap while showcasing proper cooking techniques with simple equipment.


Chef David Tallent, IU Catering

Day 2: Thursday, April 15 - International and Intersectional Identities

Register for Day 2


Session 3: Panel: Food Access from an International Perspective


Essential to the definition of food security is that people have adequate access to appropriate food for nourishment. This panel discusses the importance of accessing culturally relevant food and how the American food security system can address this issue. Dr. Olga Kalentzidou will discuss the geographies of food security with Dr. Andrea Siqueria, Hira Maryana, and a representative from the Office of International Students, who will share their perspectives on accessing culturally relevant food in the United States.


Dr. Olga Kalentzidou (Moderator), Indiana University

Dr. Andrea Siqueira, Indiana University

Hira Maryana, Fullbright FLTA Indonesia

Student introduction by Clayton Underhill


Session 4: Black Food Justice: Grassroots Initiatives from the Black Diaspora

The American food system was built on the oppression and enslavement of African peoples, the ramifications of which are still felt today. The work of Black-led grassroots organizations is bringing restorative justice to the food system and highlighting the importance of Black food. Dr. Shellye Suttles will speak to members of the Black Church Food Security Network and Taste the Diaspora to share about their important work.

Dr. Shellye Suttles (Moderator), Indiana University

Sha'Von Terrell, Black Church Food Security Network

Raphael Wright, Taste the Diaspora

Dazmonique Carr, Taste the Diaspora

Student introduction by Leo Banks


Session 5: Conflict Cuisine & Disaster Response: Food in Times of Crisis


In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the World Central Kitchen assembled a team in Puerto Rico to deliver meals and food essentials to displaced Puerto Ricans. On the other side of the world, Syrian refugees in Turkey are using food as a means of survival in a new land. Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman’s work examines why food is central to survival and resilience in conflict zones and this session will discuss the role of food in times of crisis.


Clark Barwick (Moderator), Indiana University

Chef Elyssa Kaplan, World Central Kitchen

Fiona Donovan, World Central Kitchen

Dr. Johanna Mendelson-Forman, American University

Student introduction by Ethan Joss


Session 6: Cooking Demo: A Taste of Uyghur Foodways


The second of four cooking tutorials throughout the conference, Uyghur Instructor, Dr. Gulnisa Nazarova, will prepare a traditional Uyghur meal while discussing how cooking Uyghur food is essential to preserving their culture.


Dr. Gulnisa Nazarova, Indiana University

Student introduction by Elliot Gross

Day 3: Friday, April 16 - Community Based

Register for Day 3


Session 7: Cooking Demo: Highlighting Burmese Cuisine


The third of four cooking tutorials throughout the conference, Chef Zin Zin Htin will prepare a traditional Burmese meal while discussing how the Chin immigrant community in Indianapolis uses food to stay connected to Burmese culture.


Chef Zin Zin Htin

Translation provided by BICO

Student introduction by Ring Te, Burmese Student Association 


Session 8: Addressing Food Security in the Bloomington Community

Addressing food insecurity on a local level, Hoosier Hills Food Bank and Pantry 279 have played a significant role in providing Bloomington residents with nourishing food. Abby Aang, Julio Alonso, and Cindy Chavez will discuss their work and the challenges they face to deliver food to those in need.


Angela Babb (Moderator), Indiana University

Julio Alonso, Hoosier Hills Food Bank

Cindy Chavez, Pantry 279

Student introduction by Ethan Joss

Day 4: Saturday, April 17 - Campus Based

Register for Day 4


Session 9: Cooking Demonstration: Food Sovereignty & Indigenous Cuisine


The fourth and final cooking tutorial of the conference features a demonstration on how to prepare Mushroom Stuffed Potato Pancakes, Cranberry and Walnut Wild Rice, and Chia Chocolate Pudding with Chef Krysia Villon.


Chef Krysia Villon, Chiqui's Kitchen

Christy Barton, Indiana University


Session 10: Feeding IU: How College Campus Initiatives are Changing the Food System


Indiana University’s students are active in the University food system from growing the food served in the dining halls to ensuring that all students have access to nourishing and nutritious meals. Representatives from the IU Campus Farm, Campus Kitchen, and Crimson Cupboard will discuss their work as a meaningful part of the IU food system.

Carl Ipsen (Moderator), IU Food Institute

Erin Carman-Sweeney, IU Campus Farm

Lindsey Nelson, Campus Kitchen

Brandon Shurr, Crimson Cupboard

Student introduction by Shreya Mapadath


Session 11: Sustain IU & IU Dining: What Does Food Look Like for the Future of IU?


With a commitment to implementing new dining concepts driven by reducing food waste and promoting sustainability, IU’s food system is rapidly changing. Director of Dining, Rahul Shrivastav, will discuss the future of dining on the Bloomington campus and what is being done to address students’ changing needs.


Jodee Smith (Moderator), Sustainable Food Systems Science at Indiana University

Rahul Shrivastav, IU Dining

Andrew Predmore, Sustain IU


Conference Closing Remarks


Closing remarks shared by the Food for Thought at IU team thanking event sponsors, speakers and panelists, and participants.


Food for Thought at IU Team

Contact us


Email Marria Peduto, Conference Organizer


Technical issues?

Contact Jack Wishart, HLS Events Planner 

A note of gratitude

This conference is inspired by the academic work of Dr. Olga Kalentzidou, Dr. Andrea Siqueira, Dr. Clark Barwick, Dr. Sarah Osterhoudt, and many other academics whose work provided an educational foundation into understanding the global food system, culture and cuisine, issues of food security, and many other topics in food studies. Special thanks to all of our program partners and supporters who have generously donated their time, talents, and resources to this conference. These include the U.S. Department of State’s Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Grant, Hamilton Lugar School, Campus Kitchen, IU Funding Board, Hutton Honors College, IU Food Institute, Graduate and Professional Student Government, Geography Graduate Student Organization, Global Student Seven, and the Center for the Study of Global Change. This conference would not be possible without the contributions from these partners.