home | programs | food for thought subscribe by subscribe by emailsubscribe by Facebooksubscribe by Twitter search the site
Food for Thought

The need for food links humans across the globe, but the food we eat, the way we grow, prepare and eat it, our mealtime rituals, traditions and conversations…all of these elements distinguish us as cultures and individuals.

Food for Thought was a two-year, award-winning Indiana Humanities program presented by Indiana's Family of Farmers. Through this program, Hoosiers examined and celebrated the ways food helps to define Indiana’s culture, and considered food in the context of history, law, politics, science, the arts, religion, ethnicity and our place in the world. Together, we shared and sampled the cultures reflected at the state’s table and addressed the local and global issues of hunger, nutrition, food production, obesity, food security and safety.

Elements of the program included:

Legacy Book. Writer David Hoppe and staff member Kristin Hess have spent the past year traveling across the state to interview and photograph a lively cross-section of individuals -- from James Beard-nominated chefs to blueberry farmers, bison ranchers to activists working to feed the hungry -- all of whom are helping to make this such an extraordinary time in the history of Hoosier cuisine. Learn more.

Traveling Exhibit. An exhibit that engaged and educated Hoosiers about global and local food issues, increased awareness about Indiana’s rich agricultural history and stimulated conversation among families and communities. Learn more.

FoodforThoughtIndiana.org. A blog devoted to Indiana food, covering topics in agribusiness, literature, hunger, history and more.

Partnerships. Through a partnership program, Indiana Humanities highlighted food-related programs throughout Indiana, such as Conner Prairie's Taste the Past Thursdays. Read about some of our funded partners, here.

Hoosier Food Stories. We collected Indiana food stories from Hoosiers like you at the traveling exhibit's Story Silo, or through a written story on the blog. Read stories we collected through the Indiana State Fair and a Thanksgiving contest.

Teacher Materials. A variety of digital curriculum guides and resource lists for K-12 teachers centered around food are available, here. A partnership with Savor Indiana provides curriculum materials in science, math, social studies and language arts that accompany the TV show.

Food Resources. A list of resources, including book recommendations and links to Indiana food blogs and websites, as well as games, trivia and more. Check it out.

Events included:
Food for Thought: How Hoosiers Can End Hunger. A panel discussion about global and local hunger that featured Roger Thurow, author and journalist; Ted McKinney, senior director corporate affairs at Elanco; and Jerry Adams, chairman of the board at Second Helpings. WFYI broadcast the discussion on Tuesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. on 90.1 FM. The conversation continued on FoodForThoughtIndiana.org.

Spirit & Place. The November Spirit & Place Festival was themed Food for Thought, and featured a variety of humanities inspired presentations and discussions.

An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. Indiana Humanities co-presented this event with Spirit & Place Festival, and brought in two vibrant celebrity chefs for a conversation about food and culture on Sept. 30. Learn more. View images from the event, as well as pre- and post-party events.

FoodCon. An unconventional convention at the Harrison Center for the Arts.

Chew on This. A program designed by Indiana Humanities to use the power of food and drink as a convener of people and catalyst for conversation to inspire thoughtful discussion on engaging topics. Originally a Food for Thought program, these one-night events on various topics will continue as part of the Food for Thought legacy. Learn about our last Chew on This, called Moonshine & Morality, here