JOIN The Friedman Justice League and Tufts Institute for the Environment for a movie screening with discussion to follow. There will be food!

Want to get Involved in FJL or TIE?! Learn more at:

Watch the trailer

Kombit Film Crew
Once known as the richest agricultural country in the Caribbean, Haiti has been wracked by instability and natural disasters. Decades of decline have taken their toll on Haiti’s people, and today the country is 98% deforested with little of its once prosperous agricultural industry enduring. When Timberland commits to creating a sustainable intervention in Haiti that will lead to 5 million trees in 5 years, they work to find partners that understand the harsh realities of aid work but share the vision to build something sustainable.

Over the course of 5 years, we follow Timberland’s support of a nascent partnership between a Haitian agronomist and a former NGO leader that commit to empowering communities of farmers to plant millions of trees while improving their crop yields. As the end of Timberland’s financial support approaches, SFA’s leaders race to develop new markets and opportunities for Haitian farmers that will endure and ensure a sustainable, greener future.


As a part of Digging Deep week in February, the Friedman Justice League led a week of storytelling, discussion, and reflection on issues of food justice in the world, country, and Friedman campus. FJL organized a weeklong interactive bulletin for Friedman students to contribute experiences and reflections on their experiences with food, called “Digging Deeper: Foodways.” It prompted students each day with a new theme.

The themes and reflections are recorded anonymously below, as compiled by Sarah Chang and Kirsten Archer.

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Digging Deeper: Foodways

Foodways – (def.) The cultural, social and economic practices relating to the production and consumption of food. Foodways often refers to the intersection of food in culture, traditions, and history. (Wikipedia)

Instructions: In a few brief sentences, share your experience or thoughts with regard to each prompt.

Monday: Bounty – Celebration Meals

Describe a celebratory meal that is important to your family, culture, and/or religious upbringing.

“Lunch after church on Saturday (yes, Saturday). We often would have a potluck in someone’s home and after the dinner we’d pick at leftovers and dessert. I’d sit under the table and listen to the adults talk, work on a drawing or read a book. My belly so full.”

“Cheerio Dinner. In my family we marked special days by not cooking. Instead we eat cereal – (always Cheerios) and sit on top of the counters letting our feet dangle and hanging out. It feels fun, informal, and special. We do this a lot on birthdays, holidays and on random, unexpected nights probably because my parents just didn’t feel like cooking because they were just feeling tired and/or lazy. Ha! As a kid it was awesome!”

“International Thanksgiving. My family hosts Thanksgiving each year and our tradition has been to host many of my parents’ international students/colleagues. It produced a huge bounty of people and food from different traditions.”

“Yom Kippur Breakfast is always monumental. After 25 hours of fasting on what is considered the holiest day of the Jewish year the piles of salads, bagels, schmear, pickled fish, babka, and cookies is truly overwhelming in the best way.”

“’Pasni’ for the infant. At 6 months of age, the child in the family is introduced to the rice eating ceremony called ‘Pasni.’ Here, there are various religious practices and many relatives join in to the occasion. ‘Pasni’ is a significant day for many families in Nepal.”

Tuesday: Hunger – The Reality of Scarcity

Describe an experience of food insecurity, hunger, or a time of want.

“After I was accepted to nutrition school, I learned that my grandma actually went to college for nutrition in the 1930s! In college, however, she spent all her savings on tuition and couldn’t afford to eat – she lost a lot of weight. In her junior year, she was told that she couldn’t become a nutrition major because she couldn’t care for herself. She was so ashamed by her situation that she never told her supervisor that she was going hungry – and she had to switch careers.”

“My first extended stay from home, I was shocked at how the loss of my dad’s cooking made me feel uneasy. I was in a foreign country, surrounded by their food customs, and couldn’t articulate my wants and needs for white rice, fish, and steamed vegetables. I didn’t want to be impolite but knew that I needed a reminder of home.”

“Hunger observed. I used to believe that if you were really hungry you should be willing to eat anything. Then I began working in a Midwestern food bank. Muslims and Hindus were hungry. Vegans and vegetarians were hungry. Hunger doesn’t distinguish from allergy or disease. Each of these people deserved the dignity of choice.”

Wednesday: Interactions with Inclusion and Otherness

Describe an experience when you were marked as an outsider or insider because of what you did (or didn’t) eat (for dietary, religious, economic, cultural, other reasons).

“Dog food. I have distinct memories of eating Chinese snacks at school and being made fun of or ostracized by other students. I remember one student asking me if I was eating dog food. ‘More for me,’ I’d think.”

“Vegetarian. Back in the 90s when I became a vegetarian it was a lot less popular and common. A very typical response to me was ‘do you really thing you’re making a difference?’ It was pretty irritating to justify my personal choice. Luckily, this no longer happens.”

“My family is Caribbean. I grew up in a part of the West Coast that had very few people of color. I was sometimes embarrassed that my family ate such flavorful and fragrant food that was foreign to my peers. But then I realized that it was part of my identity, and not just some other thing that made me different. I’ve learned to be proud.”

Thursday: Trying Something New

Appreciating and accepting a new experience with food.

“I have a couple friends from Mexico who I’ve spent many a night cooking with. Once they had a bag of crickets with chili spice shipped to them from Mexico. They were eating them like popcorn! I tried a couple with my eyes closed. They were actually quite tasty, but I couldn’t quite get over the idea of eating whole crickets! Chirp, chirp.”

“Wisconsin-themed party/food. Recently, I had a chance to experience Wisconsin-themed food (or food common to Wisconsin). There were a variety of cheese, sausages, sauerkraut, cookies, salad, and drinks. The food was very satisfying.”

“Tea leaves. I recently tried Burmese cuisine for the first time. I was totally open to the new flavors but was a tad reluctant at the thought of a fermented tealeaf salad. Fermented tealeaves? Maybe not for me. But when I tried it I found myself totally enamored with the flavors and textures. I love it!”

Friday: Reflections

What does Foodways mean to you?

“Foodways means recognizing and honoring traditions and experiences of food – one’s food roots. The smell of mom’s kitchen and the garden in grandpa’s yard and the restaurant where we celebrate our family.”

“Food roots, I like that! I think foodways can also be lens by which we can express ourselves, our cultures and traditions, our life experience and worldview. It can include ways in which perceptions of our food experience can weaken or strengthen our sense of self.”

The Friedman Justice League has teamed up with the Fletcher Food Policy Club to bring a screening of Black Gold to Tufts University. Black Gold chronicles inequities for coffee farmers in Ethiopia, highlighting shortfalls in global supply chains to support farmers, and emphasizing opportunities for corporate and consumer responsibility.

Join us at 6 for refreshments; the screening will begin at 6:30pm. A panel will follow the film, including experts from the Friedman School and Counter Culture Coffee to follow. Admission is free.

The event will take place at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, ASEAN Auditorium. 160 Packard Ave, Medford, MA.

Please see the attached flyer for additional information – we hope to see you there!Featured image

Black Gold Flyer_11-6_v4

SNAP Challenge Flyer

The Friedman Justice League is hosting their 2nd annual weeklong SNAP Challenge in order to raise awareness and understanding of what it means to live on SNAP.   Leading up to the challenge, FJL members have organized a panel discussion during the Friedman Seminar Series on Wednesday, February 25.

Additionally, the student- and faculty-wide effort will end with a Post-Challenge Potluck on Monday, March 9th from 5:30-7pm in Jaharis 156.


Who: Friedman faculty, staff, and students (if we work, study, and research nutrition and federal nutrition programs, it’d be great for us to have a personal understanding of SNAP)

What: Eat on $5.50/day or $38.50/week (this figure varies)

What you CAN buy during the challenge:

  • Foods to eat, such as: breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meats, fish, and poultry; and dairy products.
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for to eat
 What you CANNOT use the SNAP benefits to buy:
  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco.
  • Any nonfood items, such as: pet foods; soaps, paper products; and household supplies.
  • Vitamins and medicines.
  • Prepared foods at the point of purchase (rotisserie chicken, pre-made sandwich, etc.).

When: March 1-7, 2015

How: To sign up for the challenge, go here

Also, for more resources on tips for the SNAP Challenge, go here.  There are also numerous other websites to give you tips.

Why:  The SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge is a way to gain a personal understanding and raise awareness of what it means to live on SNAP benefits. Participants spend a week living on the typical food stamp benefit and share their experiences about the difficult choices they have to make to make throughout the week.

Food Chains

Join us on February 5th from 6:30-8:30pm for a screening of the Food Chains documentary followed by an expert panel discussion.  From migrant farmworkers in Florida to California Napa Valley, the 2014 documentary highlights agricultural labor in the U.S. and the human costs of our food supply.

Expert panelists include:

  • Smriti Keshari, Food Chain Producer
  • Diana Robinson, Food Chain Workers Alliance
  • Alex Galimberti, The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Boston
  • Jerel Dye, artist for the Food Chain Workers’ Comicbook (signed copies will be available!)
  • A representative from the Student Farmworker Alliance

The event will be held at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in ASEAN Auditorium (160 Packard Ave, Medford, MA).  Go here to view event flyer and please do spread the word!  While admission is free, we are asking for a $5 donation to go toward the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Food Chains’ Workers Alliance.

Tickets are available at

For more information about the film, click here.