Food As A Grand Unifier

Keynote Address:

Keynote Address of the 2024 Symposium by Dr. Yona Sipos, University of Washington

Food inherently connects people to each other and to our planet. Food transcends language and culture to nourish and educate across experiences. Food is a collection of stories from the past, present, and future – stories from our families, cultures, and communities that we are all learning, sharing, and continuing to grow. When we eat, we engage in the full food system – the complex system of systems that supports food production, processing, distribution, access, and resource recovery. When we eat, we engage with the land and laborers across each sector. Food can therefore be seen as a grand unifier, bringing together diverse people and communities. When we share food, we create opportunities to learn about each other, appreciate one another, and leverage those shared experiences into addressing a whole host of other social issues.