Episode 1: Big Gulp - The NYC Soda Regulation 

december 15, 2013

In September 2012, the City of New York passed a law restricting the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces in food service establishments like restaurants, movie theaters, and mobile vendors. Though the law has been put on hold by an ongoing legal battle, it remains one of Mayor Bloomberg's boldest public health initiatives.

At the first MOFAD Roundtable, we brought together a nutritionist, an anti-hunger advocate, an economist, and a libertarian to debate the soda regulation, the government's role in protecting public health, how the regulation addresses personal choice, and what this all means for the future of food policy in the US and abroad.

This episode of MOFAD Roundtable was co-sponsored by the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College and hosted at the CUNY School of Public Health

Episode 2: Seeds of Debate - GMOs and Food

april 27, 2014

Do GMOs pose potential risks to human health and the environment? Can GMO seeds be part of a sustainable agricultural system? Does this technology pose threats to genetic diversity and food sovereignty, and how tightly should it be regulated? Since the introduction of the genetically engineered Flavr Savr tomato in 1994, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been at the center of a polarized debate. With the increasing push for GMO labeling in the United States, public interest in GMOs has reached a fever pitch.

The second episode of MOFAD Roundtable, presented in partnership with the Food Book Fair, brought together a science journalist, a consumer rights advocate, a science policy researcher, and a representative from the biotechnology industry to debate this deeply divisive issue.

This episode of MOFAD Roundtable was co-sponsored by the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and hosted in partnership with the Food Book Fair at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, New York. 

Episode 3: Whose Responsibility? Marketing and the Ethics of Big Food

june 19, 2004

Is there anything inherently wrong with the way snack foods are developed and marketed? How much responsibility should rest on the consumer versus the manufacturer in matters of labeling and marketing? Do the food industry's attempts to offer more nutritious products reflect a genuine concern for public health?

The third MOFAD Roundtable tackled these questions through a lively debate among experts in market research, consumer advocacy, and public health. Panelists addressed the ethical responsibility of food manufacturers to provide nutritious products, the consumer's role in making healthy choices, how healthy food can be scaled up and effectively marketed, and whether industry attempts to offer healthy alternatives reflect a genuine concern for public health.

This episode of MOFAD Roundtable was co-sponsored by the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and hosted at the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life on the NYU campus.

Episode 4: Animal, Vegetable ... Miracle? The Future of Meat

october 16, 2014

Global meat consumption is projected to double by 2020 due to increased demand for animal protein and population growth. Other research suggests that livestock production accounts for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If these accounts are accurate, we will soon face pressing questions of where our meat comes from and how it should be produced: Are current meat production methods sustainable, or are non-meat alternatives the right solution from an environmental perspective? Is eating insects ethical? How large a role should animal agriculture play in our food system? Should the ideal human diet include meat, or should we focus on decreasing or eliminating meat consumption altogether?

The answers to these questions are hotly contested, but finding solutions is in everyone's interest. The fourth MOFAD Roundtable brought together a distinguished panel of experts and sparked a lively debate on the ethics of eating animals, the future of cultured meats and other non-meat alternatives, whether there can be "good" meat, and more.

Episode 5: What's In a Name? Rethinking Food Labeling

april 10, 2015

Organic. Fair-trade. GMO-free. Gluten-free. Low-fat. All-natural. When it comes to food labels, the possibilities are endless. Yet food labels are far more complex and slippery than their claims suggest. In fact, labels are often shaped by political forces and can serve as powerful marketing tools. As food becomes more highly engineered, and as consumers demand more information about where their food comes from and its nutritional qualities, labeling has come to the fore as a potential source of answers. What kinds of information should be required on food labels, and how should that policy be decided?

The fifth episode of MOFAD Roundtable, presented in partnership with the Food Book Fair, brought together a consumer advocate, experimental psychologist, technology policy expert, and organic certification specialist to explore this timely and complex issue.