Meat or No Meat? Spring 2018 Research Symposium


Missed the symposium? View presentations by speakers.

Friday, April 6, 2018
Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

7:30am Registration
8:00am-8:45am Breakfast
8:45am-3:30pm Program (includes lunch)

Eating meat is a practice deeply embedded in human history, and animal agriculture has shaped the environments and economies of small and large communities. Should people continue to consume animal products? If so, how should current farming methods change? Keynote speaker Tamar Haspel will set the stage for a conversation exploring the nutritional, environmental, and cultural implications of vegetarian and omnivorous diets.


Tamar HaspelTamar Haspel is a journalist who’s been on the food and science beat for the best part of two decades. She writes the James Beard award-winning Washington Post column, Unearthed, which covers food supply issues, and contributes to National Geographic, Discover, and Edible Cape Cod.  When she’s tired of the heavy lifting of journalism, she gets dirty. She and her husband, Kevin Flaherty, raise their own chickens, grow their own tomatoes, hunt their own venison, and generally try to stay connected to the idea that food has to come from somewhere. They also have an oyster farm, Barnstable Oyster, where they grow about 100,000 oysters a year in the beautiful waters off Cape Cod. Haspel revels in the idea that diners pay $3 a pop for their product, and she can eat as many as she wants.

Haspel wrote this piece, Vegetarian or omnivore: The environmental implications of diet, for her Washington Post column.


Linda Alvarez, Ph.D, is interested in exploring the ways in which underrepresented and marginalized groups interact, challenge and resist dominant structures of power. As a political scientist she works within the frameworks of comparative political behavior, political psychology, transnational migration, social movements, race and ethnic politics, food politics and the study violence and trauma among underrepresented and marginalized populations. Her current research includes projects on the political knowledge of Central American migrants in transnational contexts; structural and symbolic violence among Central American farmworkers and slaughterhouse workers in the United States; the role of political threat on the political knowledge and learning of immigrant and African American groups in the United States; inclusivity and intragroup commonality among Afro-Latinos and African Americans in the U.S., and the examination of the role food has played in the imposition and maintenance of systems of power, as well as the resistance to such systems. In her spare time, Dr. Alvarez also volunteers with animal rescue groups in Los Angeles. She is committed to animal rights and food justice activism.

George Boody, MA, is the former Executive Director and current Science & Special Projects Leader, Chippewa 10% Project, for the Land Stewardship Project. During Boody’s tenure, LSP became a membership organization and expanded its work to encompass four major program areas: Policy and Organizing, Community Based Food Systems, Farm Beginnings, and Membership and Individual Giving. He continues working with initiatives related to soil health, the Root River in southeastern Minnesota, and other special projects.

Michael Clark, Ph.D Candidate, grew up in Los Altos, California. He graduated from Carleton College in 2012 with a B.A. in Biology focusing in Ecology. After graduation he volunteered for the American Prairie Reserve in northern Montana and then worked as a Junior Scientist at the University of Minnesota for David Tilman. He enrolled in UMN’s Natural Resources Science and Management PhD program in the fall of 2014. Mike‘s research focuses on dietary changes and their environmental and health impacts.

He was the first author, and corresponding author, for a recent publication, Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice, mentioned by keynote speaker Tamar Haspel in this article, Here’s how much giving up beef helps — or doesn’t help — the planet.

Karen Jaceldo-Siegl, DrPH, MS, is an assistant professor in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at Loma Linda University. She is the senior nutrition scientist for the Adventist Health Study-2, a cohort study of over 97,000 adults in the US and Canada funded by the National Cancer Institute, and primarily serves as research mentor for several masters, doctoral students, and post-doctoral fellows. In the last few years, she has focused her research on validating questionnaire data, biomarkers of dietary intake, health benefits of vegetarian diets as well as soy and nut consumption; and has several publications on these topics in peer-reviewed journals. More recently she has been involved in examining the environmental impacts of vegetarian diets. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at San Antonio, M.S. in nutrition from University of Incarnate Word, and DrPH in nutrition at Loma Linda University.

David Klurfeld, Ph.D, has been National Program Leader for Human Nutrition in the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2004. He is responsible for the scientific direction of the intramural human nutrition research conducted by USDA laboratories. Prior to government service, he was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition & Food Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan for 11 years. Before that he was on the faculty of The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for 15 years.