What’s the role of food in the Bates education?
What’s an appropriate role for a school like Bates to take in raising awareness of food issues?
President Hansen: We want to educate our students to act prudently, and to think about sustainability when they eat. This wonderful new gift will help us feed the Bates community healthy food, and our communal reflection on food and eating will help us nourish minds as well as bodies.
If we want people to make healthy, ethical choices, they’ve got to be educated. We’re educating people who will govern both the policies and the practices of the future. So, I think that it’s natural for Bates, or any college, to promote deeper understanding of this issue. This isn’t all about personal good and private benefit and individual pleasure —although it’s also about that. It’s about the public policies that should be reinforced by our government and by the climate of opinion that shapes people’s choices at large. So, there’s that educational mission.
And then, if you think about what we’re trying to be as an intentional residential educational institution, it takes on even more importance. For us to model and talk about things in reality, in our own daily practice, that we’re also talking about in the classroom seems to me profoundly important — to walk the walk.