Conversation on food policy and the ways it shapes societal views slated for June 19

Food@MSU and the MSU Global Food Law program are teaming up for an Our Table conversation about how laws and regulations influence our perceptions of food.

Curious about the ways in which laws and regulations affect societal perceptions of food? Michigan State University (MSU) invites you to pull up a chair and join an upcoming conversation about food policy and the ways in which it influences us.

Food@MSU and MSU’s Global Food Law program will host an Our Table discussion from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19, at the Huntington Club, located on the fourth floor of Spartan Stadium on the MSU campus.

Our Table, part of the Food@MSU initiative, is a series of roundtable discussions in which MSU brings together community members and leaders, industry and farm workers and producers, scientists, academics and other experts for meaningful conversation on food-related topics. Audience members are encouraged to join the conversation by sharing questions, insights and concerns.

“It's often the case where food policy lags behind the science, with the public left largely out of the conversation altogether, yet the regulations in place we have related to food impact how we eat, our tastes, preferences, expectations, safety and so much more,” said science communicator Sheril Kirshenbaum, moderator for the Our Table discussions. “It's time to be more transparent and address food policy comprehensively within our communities.”

Panelists for this event include Dawn Opel, J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of digital media and user experience, MSU College of Arts and Letters; Ann Folino White, Ph.D., associate professor of theater studies, MSU College of Arts and Letters; and Scott Haskell, D.V.M., adjunct professor, MSU College of Law.

“It is important to understand how federal and state policies affect the kinds of foods that many Americans are able to purchase,” said Opel. “For instance, the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 dictates which foods are ‘eligible foods’ to purchase with food stamps, through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Americans who receive SNAP benefits have to pay close attention to this list as well as shop carefully to stretch food resources. Declaring certain foods ‘ineligible" under the Act shapes what millions of people think is unhealthy or inappropriate."

The June 19 panel discussion will occur at the end of the first day of the Global Food Law program’s Current Issues Conference. The Our Table portion of the event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in lot 62W in front of IM West. (A campus map with lot numbers is available here).

The Our Table events are the cornerstone of Food@MSU, an initiative led by the colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Letters, and Communication Arts and Sciences, aimed at encouraging dialogue to navigate misinformation about food so that consumers can make decisions that are more informed.

For more information on Food@MSU and Our Table events, contact Alex Tekip at To learn more about MSU’s Global Food Law program, contact Leslie Johnson at 

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