From hunger to obesity to industrial agriculture, modern-day food systems have no lack of “wicked” problems involving social, economic, and political—as well as health—dimensions. Although these problems present formidable challenges, advocates participating in today’s food movements can draw on the lessons learned from social movements of the past to define advocacy goals, targets, and methods; to engage allies; and to monitor progress. These lessons can be used to improve the chance of success of current advocacy campaigns.
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley.Her first faculty position was in the Department of Biology at Brandeis University. From 1976-86 she was Associate Dean of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, where she taught nutrition to medical students, residents, and practicing physicians, and directed a nutrition education center sponsored by the American Cancer Society. From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. She has been a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee and Science Board, the USDA/DHHS Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and American Cancer Society committees that issue dietary guidelines for cancer prevention. Her research focuses on how science and society influence dietary advice and practice. She is the author of several books including, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002, paperback 2003) and Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003, paperback 2004), both from University of California Press.