Well into a highly successful academic, scientific and public policy career, Dr. Marion Nestle led the way to the development and launch of the country’s first comprehensive Food Studies Program. This game-changing accomplishment has spawned numerous programs, studies, scholars, collections, careers, books and other efforts, forever broadening and deepening the way we look at, talk about, study and experience food in America.
New York University’s Steinhardt School is pleased to celebrate this unique and beloved educator, in conversation with one of the most acclaimed food journalists of her day, and the reporter who broke the story about Nestle and Food Studies, Award winning and retired New York Times writer Marian Burros.
Presented as part of the new SKIRBALL TALKS series. Mondays at 6:30 during the academic terms, SKIRBALL TALKS hosts visionaries from the worlds of politics, the arts, sciences, academia, and more.
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Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, emerita, at New York University, in the department she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she retired in September 2017. She is also Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She holds honorary degrees from Transylvania University in Kentucky and the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York.
She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley. Previous faculty positions were at Brandeis University and the UCSF School of Medicine. From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. Her research and writing examine scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice, obesity, and food safety, emphasizing the role of food marketing.
She is the author of six prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health; Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety; What to Eat; Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics (with Dr. Malden Nesheim); Eat, Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics; and Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning). She also has written two books about pet food, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine and Feed Your Pet Right (also with Dr. Nesheim).
From 2008 to 2013, she wrote a monthly Food Matters column for the San Francisco Chronicle food section. She blogs daily (almost) at www.foodpolitics.com. Her Twitter account, @marionnestle, has been named among the top 10 in health and science by Time Magazine, Science Magazine, and The Guardian, and has more than 145,000 followers.
She has received many awards and honors. She received the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service from Bard College in 2010. In 2011, the University of California School of Public Health at Berkeley named her as Public Health Hero. Also in 2011, Michael Pollan ranked her as the #2 most powerful foodie in America (after Michelle Obama), and Mark Bittman ranked her #1 in his list of foodies to be thankful for. She received the James Beard Leadership Award in 2013, and in 2014 the U.S. Healthful Food Council’s Innovator of the Year Award and the Public Health Association of New York City’s Media Award, among others. In 2016, Soda Politics won literary awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
She is currently working on a book about food industry funding of nutrition research and practice, to be published by Basic Books in the fall of 2018.
Marian Burros, a reporter for The New York Times for 27 years, has been writing about food and the politics of food since the 1960s. She retired from the Times in 2008, Before that she spent seven years as food editor for The Washington Post and was also a consumer reporter on WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. Burros, who began her professional career as a cooking teacher, is the author of 13 food and cookbooks, including The New Elegant But Easy Cookbook, Keep It Simple and, 20-Minute Menus, all published by Simon and Schuster. She is working on another cookbook now.
Burros has won numerous awards, including an Emmy for her consumer reporting on WRC-TV; Who’s Who in American Food; the National Press Club for coverage of food safety issues; a Penney-Missouri award for health and consumer reporting and award from the Association of Food Journalists for service to food journalism.
Burros has also worked for NBC Radio Network News, the local NPR station in Washsington,D.C. United Features, The Washington Daily News, The Washington Star, and suburban Maryland newspapers.
Born in Waterbury, Conn., Burros received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Wellesley College. She lives in Bethesda, Md. She has two children, Michael and Ann, both of whom are fabulous cooks, and two grandchildren
The Skirball Talks series is made possible in part by a Humanities New York Action Grant and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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