Between offering food demos, hosting local and national speakers on campus, facilitating student discussion groups and moving into a new building, the IU Food Institute has had an exciting year.
The IU Food Institute incorporates the IU Food Project and is an initiative by the College of Arts and Sciences to support and expand upon the food-related research and courses on the Bloomington campus. One of its main goals is to find innovative ways to address what we eat and how we eat, with an environmental focus.
The institute found its home on campus at 405/407 N. Park St. in the fall. And inside its new building is a research library full of volumes on food history, culture, cultivation and cooking, now open to the IU community.
"The IUFI is already a place where people interested in food from across the university can meet, plan and host events," said Leigh Bush, a graduate fellow at the IU Food Institute and a Ph.D. candidate in IU's food studies program. "The library adds to this creative community by also being a place where everyone can come to find resources relating to food that would otherwise be difficult to track down or aren't available in one space. This is about creating a welcome space for knowledge exchange that is yet to exist for food-interested scholars across disciplines."
The collection includes over 1,000 books and resources, featuring titles such as, "Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization" and "Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best." Many of the books were donated to the library, and the collections bear the names of their donors, such as Sidney Mintz, one of the founders of contemporary food anthropology, and Christine Barbour, a local food lover and senior lecturer at IU. Several of the books are rare, and a few of them are even signed by the authors.
"We're excited and fortunate to have this amazing collection of books, many of which have been donated by top food studies scholars around the country," said Madeline Chera, an IU Food Institute graduate fellow and cultural anthropology Ph.D. student. "We're happy to be able to collect research and reference materials under one roof where we can bring scholars from across the disciplines together to form new connections and collaborations."
And the library's collection continues to expand. After her visit to campus, famous chef and food activist Alice Waters offered up parts of her collection for donation to the library.
All of the resources are available for use on-site at the IU Food Institute Library, and the goal is to become a lending library for faculty, staff and students in the future.
With the summer quickly approaching, the IU Food Institute will have reduced hours. However, the library and other resources will be available by appointment.
Stop by the IU Food Institute at 5 p.m. April 13 to check out the library and hear Annie Corrigan, the host of WFIU's "Earth Eats" radio show, give a talk on food journalism and translating food scholarship for popular media consumption. "Earth Eats" is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog that covers food news and recipes inspired by the eat-local movement.
Corrigan recently co-authored a book, by the same name as the radio show, with FARMBloomington owner Daniel Orr. The IU Press book focuses on farm-to-fork eating by the season, including recipes and tips on planting, harvesting and preparing local food.Win a copy of "Earth Eats"