Op-eds & Outreach

Wednesday, May 11, 2022
New Research Study Analysis: Systemic Change Urgently Needed in the U.S. Emergency Food System
WhyHunger and Duke University World Food Policy Center Release Full Results and Analysis of the Pandemic Impact on Hunger Relief Organizations Study Release prepared by WhyHunger.org


Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Summer Research Assistant for the Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC)
Summer Research Assistant for the Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC) Summer 2022 Supervisor: Sarah Zoubek, Associate Director. Position Description


Friday, March 18, 2022
Zuckerman talks Food Justice for Food at Duke's Campus Food Security Symposium
The Duke World Food Policy Center's Director of Strategic Initiatives - Jen Zuckerman - spoke at the Third Campus Food Security Symposium at Duke University, organized by the Campus Pantry Collaborative on March 18, 2022.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Duke Part of NSF-Funded National Research Network to Address the Challenge of Reducing Wasted Food
In the United States, 40 percent of all food produced is never eaten, resulting in lost resources, economic costs to businesses and households, decreased food security and negative climate impacts. As the U.S.


Thursday, July 29, 2021
Norbert L. W. Wilson
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Norbert Wilson, our Director of Food and Agriculture Policy, was selected as President Elect of the


Monday, June 28, 2021
WFPC Featured in Nordic Food Policy Lab for Innovative Policy Methods
Where are the bold policies to follow, support or even lead the transition to a healthier and more sustainable food system? Duke's World Food Policy Center is among 11 organizations featured in the Nordic Food Policy Lab's Setting the Table 2021 publication in recognition of innovative approaches to food policy.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Civil Eats - Will the U.S. Finally Take a Holistic Approach to Ending Child Hunger?
Spurred by the pandemic and the Biden administration’s priorities, a new federal paradigm may be emerging to ensure equitable access to healthy meals.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021
WFPC Contributes to North Carolina State Health Improvement Plan
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper presents NC's first comprehensive state health improvement plan incorporating the principles of results-based accountability and the technology of Clear Impact Scorecard. The 2020 North Carolina State Health Improvement Plan operationalizes the priorities identified in the 2019 State Health Assessment and Healthy North Carolina 2030: A Path Toward Health.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021
New research highlights a shifting priority at food banks: tackling the root causes of food insecurity
Food banks and pantries saw a surge of need during the pandemic. To keep helping effectively, they’ll have to address systemic shortfalls.


Friday, May 21, 2021
Food and Agriculture -  Who We Feed and How We Farm: Beyond Talking Points
What are the downstream environmental justice impacts from farming and agriculture? This video features experts who discuss key policy considerations for food & agriculture. The Biden administration has made clear its goals to address the climate crisis. A key component in tackling climate issues, domestic and abroad, is environmental justice.


Thursday, May 13, 2021
Hunger relief organizations say pandemic revealed systemic flaws
Safety constraints related to the coronavirus pandemic forced hunger relief organizations to eliminate key operations over the last year, including community meals and school-related programs, even as they struggled to meet increased demand for their services, according to a survey


Thursday, April 15, 2021
Food Insecurity Linked to High Levels of Honduran Migration
A decrease in rainfall in parts of Honduras is linked to an increase in migration from those areas, according to an analysis of family units apprehended at the U.S. southern border between 2012 and 2019.


Monday, April 12, 2021
Eboni Mincey pays for her groeries at Piggly Wiggly in Birmingham, ALa. by Stephen Bisha WBHM
Article and podcast excerpt:  Legislative sessions most years bring a bipartisan chorus decrying the grocery tax as a cruel burden for low-income families, who are disproportionately people of color. And yet the tax remains untouched in Mississippi and Alabama.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Politics and science are at odds with each other in this pandemic.Image by Stuart Patience
Politics and science are at odds with each other in this pandemic. What has to change?


Thursday, March 4, 2021
Washington debates soda tax
Washington state is is currently debating Senate Bill 5371, which would tax beverage distributors on sweetened drinks that have more than 20 calories in a 12-ounce serving. Presumably, some or all of the additional cost — 1.75 cents per fluid ounce — would then be passed along to consumers.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Treat Fish as Food in Global Policymaking
Sustainable seafood is central to strengthening food security, if viewed as more than just a natural resource


Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Open Letter to the Transition Team on the US Food System
We want to draw our readers attention to an effort to shape a more coherent US food policy system. This open letter to the transition team promotes equity, inclusion, and economic and environmental sustainability.


Monday, June 22, 2020
Crop Image by Jahoo Clouseau
The World Food Policy Center supports the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Heal Food Alliance policy brief detailing concrete approaches for improving farming opportunities for Black people, indigenous people, and other people of color (BIPOC).


Sunday, June 21, 2020
COVID-19 and Global Food Security
Dr. Sarah Bermeo (Duke Center for International Development) and Dr. Kelly Brownell (World Food Policy Center) talk to Dr. Johan Swinnen, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) about the impact of COVID-19 on efforts to address food security and malnutrition in developing countries.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Screenshot of ECDN Tool
Developing an Open Access Tool for Early Childhood Services in Durham, NC


Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Equitable Food Oriented Develoment
The WFPC is pleased to support the efforts of the EFOD Collaborative, a group of organizations leading a movement towards equitable food oriented development. EFOD is an approach to community-based development that celebrates food culture and creates equity.


Friday, May 1, 2020
FCWA Call for Action
Today, May Day 2020, food chain businesses across the US are experiencing protests,


Thursday, April 16, 2020
Rural Resilience Training Program Addresses Farm and Ranch Stress
As people around the country look for big and small ways to help their neighbors through the uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, the Rural Resilience Training Program, now available at no cost for all Farm Bureau members and staff, is a chance to do just that.  


Tuesday, April 7, 2020
FAQs on Pandemic-EBTand Coronavirus Response-SNAP
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides temporary new authority and broad flexibility for the USDA and states to adapt SNAP to address many people’s food needs during the current public health and economic emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Tuesday, April 7, 2020
GroceryDive is capturing the changing policies of major food retailers, from store hours to paid sick leave, as the grocery industry adapts to the rapidly spreading COVID-19. Each day, retailers are announcing changes to their operations, from reduced hours to paid sick leave. All have implemented rigorous cleaning procedures and many are pushing hiring to keep up with demand.


Friday, April 3, 2020
Child hunger during pandemic infographic
School districts can keep providing their students with healthy meals over the spring break, even while they are closed for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, these meals help kids stay healthy and ready to learn when school resumes.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Wild bees are more prolific than you might think
What an average person knows about bees would not go far in a trivia contest. Most people don’t know that honeybees were imported from Europe to what would become the United States in the early 1600s for honey, wax, medicinal pollen, and extra income on smallholder farms. Most eaters also don’t realize that thousands of native wild bees help to sustain our food supply.


Friday, February 7, 2020
Janet Poppendieck: The Dilemma of Food Assistance
The World Food Policy Center is hosting a lunch & learn on Wednesday, February 26th, at noon in Sanford 201. Duke alumnus Janet Poppendieck ('67) will speak on the topic of food assistance programs.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Weight Stigma & Bias
Weight stigma, bias and discrimination are daily experiences for people with larger body weight. We've created this explainer video to help people understand the harm of body weight stereotypes and prejudice. The video augments a series of podcasts on this topic.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Equitable Food-Oriented Development Report cover
A new white paper outlining a framework for equitable food-oriented development has been developed by a new organization called the EFOD Collaborative and Daisa Enterprises,  with support from The Kresge Foundation. The paper creates a definition for an EFOD framework - its origins, defining criteria, and impacts - and provides well-researched recommendations for sustainable field-building.


Thursday, October 17, 2019
Kelly Brownell - What's the Story Behind Soda Taxes
Do soda taxes actually work? They actually do in a lot of places already-- just like tobacco taxes! Kelly Brownell of Duke University's World Food Policy Center at the Sanford School of Public Policy explains. This is part of the Extra Credit YouTube series where Duke faculty answer questions about life's curiosities.


Thursday, September 26, 2019
US Census map showing poverty across the country
I recently visited Ireland to explore my heritage and to tick off a bucket list wish. I am grateful to the many people who took time to share stories of their lives.


Monday, September 23, 2019
Illustration by Nicholas Konrad; photographs by Michael Short for The New York Times, Janet Van Ham/HBO, Charles Sykes/Invision,
Spencer Bokat-Lindell, a writer in The New York Times Opinion section, draws readers through the complicated challenge of grappling with obesity and its incumbent health impacts. Leaders call for changes in the food environment, governmental oversight, pharmacology, and changes in medical and cultural attitudes. World Food Policy Center Director Kelly Brownell's work is mentioned.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Niisoja stands by WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros, during the Walk the Talk campaign
As a student, you get used to the red marks that line page margins with detailed feedback from your supervisor. A close-to-final draft just as quickly becomes somewhat of a first draft. It’s a natural part of the territory of being a student. For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a report in the Department.


Thursday, August 8, 2019
UN report on climate change and food
A new UN report says climate change is threatening the world’s ability to feed itself. Read more: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2019/08/4.-SPM_Approved_Microsite_FINAL.pdf


Wednesday, August 7, 2019
As the number of food insecure people in the world increases, it can be easy to lose hope of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 and ending world hunger by 2030.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Niisoja Torto at work at WHO HQ in Geneva.
“Mesdames et Messieurs…” the flight attendant began as we commenced our descent into Geneva. As she spoke, I grew excited at the thought of what my next three months would entail: 1) the privilege to work at the epicenter of global health policy, and 2) the opportunity to brush up on the French I had once learned and loved. At the time, I was committed to re-learn the language of love.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Katie Waeldner, 2019 Zero Hunger Intern
My name is Katie Waeldner, and I am a rising junior at Duke University studying cultural anthropology and global health while pursuing the pre-medical track. I am a student intern with Duke’s World Food Policy Center during the academic year, and I am spending the summer of 2019 in Washington, D.C.


Thursday, July 11, 2019
Gingko leaves
In early June, I had the pleasure of spending a week on the campus of Warren Wilson College in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, thanks to Wake Forest Divinity School.


Monday, June 10, 2019
Primer on US Food Assistance Food and Nutrition Policy and Public Health
Years of progress on diet and nutrition are threatened by attempts to cut back and weaken the SNAP program, to undermine nutrition standards for school meals, and to reverse environmental protection covered by the Farm Bill.


Thursday, April 25, 2019
The Practical Playbook II
The World Food Policy Center is honored to have partnered with Reverend Richard Joyner to co-author this chapter and share the mission and vision of the CFLC.


Thursday, April 11, 2019
Health Taxes to Save Lives: Employing Effective Excise Taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Sugary Beverages
In April 2019, the Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health released the “Health Taxes to Save Lives” report, calling on all countries to significantly raise their excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol and sugary beverages.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Krista Tippett, plenary speaker at Embracing the Power of Welcome
Krista Tippett, the curator of the Civil Conversation Project, seeks to inspire people to speak together differently to live together differently.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019
“Land holds the key to unlocking the shackles of white supremacy,” wrote food justice advocate LaDonna Redmond in the forward of “Freedom Farmers,” a new book by University of Wisconsin-Madison environmental justice Professor Dr. Monica White.


Thursday, February 14, 2019
Piri Durham showcasing their cuisine, a fusion of piri spices and food of the Black diaspora at a pour taproom pop up
For some Americans, getting nutritious, fresh food is pretty easy and not something to think too much about. For others, it’s a day-to-day struggle. The underlying cause for why this happens is not a matter of personal motivation, or not understanding what it takes to be healthy.


Monday, February 11, 2019
Fish can be a stronger tool in combatting global hunger and malnutrition.
Did you know that fisheries are managed largely through environmental management and economic policies? Such policies seek to optimize the economic benefits of fisheries, and to conserve charismatic species such as dolphins and turtles. But, they don’t optimize fisheries management as a crucial element of global food security. We’re working to change that.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Niisoja Torto, Julian Xie, Xinyan Lin
The Duke World Food Policy Center appointed three Duke students to the center’s steering committee. The students are each engaged in research with the center, and have with interests in food policy that span global health, food access, and environmental governance. The new steering committee members were introduced at the Spring 2019 meeting in February.


Thursday, January 31, 2019
Program event manager Anna White, undergraduate Katie Waelder, and Alex Treyz
In the months leading up to our Inaugural Food & Faith Convening, I focused most of my time on the logistics of meeting prep in partnership with my wonderful colleague Anna White and our WFPC team.


Monday, January 28, 2019
image by rawpixel.com
With such intense focus on combating obesity from the public health community, why is U.S. obesity rate still increasing?


Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Image of infant
We all want to raise healthy, happy kids who grow up to reach their full potential. As a Mom myself, even with my background in food science and nutrition, it’s not always easy to figure out what to do.


Monday, December 17, 2018
Dirty Tricks and Data: The Great Soda Wars, Part 2
Kelly Brownell was featured in Gastropod's podcast "Dirty Tricks and Data: The Great Soda Wars, Part 2" along with Barry Popkin (UNC), Sara Bleich (Harvard), Adam Briggs (University of Oxford), Esperanza Ceron (Educor Consumidores), Gabriella Gómez-Mont (Laboratorio para la Cuidad), Cristin Kearns (UC-San Francisco), and Steven Gortmaker (Harvard).


Friday, December 7, 2018
Jasmine Crowe at Duke's FoodCon 2018
At this week’s FoodCon event at the Fuqua School of Business, GOODR Founder and CEO Jasmine Crowe described the chaotic scene of a kitchen bursting at the seams: multiple pots and pans at the stove, dishes and plates piled high, steam in the air.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Americans are eating too much of the sweet stuff, and a staggering portion of it is coming from drinks like soda.
Americans are eating too much of the sweet stuff, and a staggering portion of it is coming from drinks like soda.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Food & Faith Convening
Food & Faith Convening Explores How Faith-based Communities Can Tackle Food Problems Leaders in Christian, Muslim, Jewish and First Nations faith traditions are gathering in Durham this week to explore a common question: how can people of faith and their communities engage with food and agricultural systems as crucial to their faith practice?


Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Duke-RTI Scholar Jonathan Blitstein
Public health psychologist Jonathan Blitstein will join Duke’s World Food Policy Center (WFPC) in October 2018 as a Duke-RTI Scholar. Blitstein, a senior researcher with RTI International’s Food, Nutrition & Obesity Policy Research Program, will develop evaluation frameworks for WFPC programs that can guide evidence-based best practices in food systems.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018
World Food Policy Center at Chestnutt Farms
In July 2018, Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC) Director Kelly Brownell and staff joined North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten and his senior team for a two day, dawn-to-dusk deep dive into North Carolina agriculture.


Thursday, July 26, 2018
Kelly and Kristy Brownell
The UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment presents a special conversation with Dr. Kelly Brownell, Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and Director of the World Food Policy Center. In 2006 Time magazine listed Dr.


Friday, July 20, 2018
Soda cans
Philadelphia's tax on soda and other sweetened drinks was upheld Wednesday when the state's highest court rejected a challenge to the law by merchants and the beverage industry. The Supreme Court ruled the 1.5-cent-per-ounce levy is aimed at distributors and dealer-level transactions and does not illegally duplicate another existing tax.


Thursday, July 19, 2018
Credit Getty Images, via Scientific American
I went to a conference at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) on June 28 titled Science Denialism, Public Policy, and Global Health. It was presented jointly by the Rutgers Global Health Initiative and the academy.


Friday, July 13, 2018
The Unsavory Side of Sugar, image by Paul Reid
The industry calls them SSBs. You know them as sugar-sweetened beverages, and they’re one of the many ways that an overload of sugar enters the average person’s diet.


Monday, July 9, 2018
US Opposes UN Resolution for Breastfeeding
The U.S. succeeded in watering down language in a U.N. World Health Assembly resolution to encourage breastfeeding. Under pressure from the Trump administration, language was removed that would have curtailed corporations’ promoting inappropriate foods for infants and young children. The following Duke University experts are available to comment.


Thursday, June 28, 2018
Sarah Zoubek, Steve Schewel, Richard Joyner, Ertharin Cousin
Duke’s World Food Policy Center (WFPC) recently organized a panel discussion on food security efforts across multiple scales – global to local, and urban to rural. 


Thursday, June 28, 2018
Ertharin Cousin
Across the globe, there is more obesity, racial inequity in food access, malnutrition, diet-related disease and food waste than ever before. Those issues interconnect with poverty and inequality as a driver of food insecurity.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018
soda photo by Justin Sullivan, Getty Images, via The New York Times
In California, the legislature passed a bill Thursday that will preempt any new local beverage or food taxes for 12 years.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018
 Duke Outpatient Clinic Social Worker Jan Dillard, Duke medical student Julian Xie, Duke Cardiothoracic Surgery Certified Nursin
A few years ago, Julian Xie, a Duke School of Medicine student, was at Duke Campus Farm, where he met Rebecca Hoeffler, the communications coordinator for Sustainable Duke.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The contribution of fisheries to food and nutrition security
The Nutrition and Food Security Contributions of Capture Fisheries – Q&A with Author John Virdin


Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Musician Moby
Moby, a famous musician, DJ, and avowed vegan, is under fire for an op-ed he published in The Wall Street Journal.


Thursday, April 5, 2018
Hamburger, fries and soda
It seems that sports and junk food just go well together. What’s the point of even watching a football game without chowing down on pizza and wings? However, new research has revealed that many of the food items marketed through sports sponsorships are bad for you—and may be contributing to nationwide obesity rates. 


Thursday, March 22, 2018
The model food community initiative will focus on two counties in North Carolina: Durham and Edgecombe. Durham is the sixth-most
The World Food Policy Center (WFPC) at the Sanford School of Public Policy has launched an initiative aimed at helping Durham County and Edgecombe County, in eastern North Carolina, with ongoing efforts to become model food communities. Durham is the sixth-most populous county in North Carolina.


Monday, September 11, 2017
Sarah Moore, 29, is a mother of three in Fort Wayne, Ind.
When it comes to judgment of their bodies, women can’t win.


Monday, August 28, 2017
sugar tax on beverages
Proposed rules would keep recipients from buying soda and junk food with SNAP dollars but sugar lobbyists are spending big to maintain the status quo. Members of Congress could be caught between their constituents and industry interests when it comes to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as “food stamps.”


Monday, July 10, 2017
Duke launches World Food Policy Center
DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University will use $5.9 million in grants to bolster efforts to improve global food policy and inform issues such as malnutrition and food safety.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Kelly Brownell
At Duke University, the Sanford School of Public Policy has just completed two years of fact-finding and planning for a World Food Policy Center focused on new opportunities for learning and collaboration. Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School and a nationally recognized food policy expert, explains more in the following interview.


Sunday, November 6, 2016
Nearly 200 people attended the Durham Farm and Food Network Candidates' Meet and Greet Forum . (Photo: Lydia Xu)
Durham is the foodiest town in the south, yet nearly 1 in 5 of the county’s residents don't know when their next meal will be.


Thursday, April 28, 2016
Future of Food Policy
The world faces profound problems in supplying nutritious food to its growing population, yet few leaders recognize the urgency of the problems, a panel of food policy experts said Wednesday. The panelists gathered at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy to discuss “The Future of Food Policy.” They outlined a series of troubling major trends, including:


Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Kelly Brownell and Sarah Zoubek
The world’s approach to food policy challenges is largely siloed. Some groups focus primarily on addressing obesity, while others work to combat hunger. Others focus on food safety and security. Still others concentrate on the environmental effects of modern food production.