Gonzaga University will host two lectures next week about food as both a local and a global issue, the theme chosen by Gonzaga faculty for this academic year. Both events are free and open to the public and are sponsored by the Gonzaga Environmental Studies Program and by the GU Forum.
Patty Naigle Martin, director of Safe Food and Fertilizer, will discuss “The Politics of Pollution” at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 12, in the Wolff Auditorium at Gonzaga’s Jepson Center. Martin, the former mayor of Quincy, Wash., gained notoriety throughout the 1990s for finding evidence to support farmers’ complaints about bad fertilizer in the Quincy Valley in the 1990s.
Martin, who graduated from Gonzaga in 1978, found that fertilizer testing, labeling and regulation were not strictly monitored or enforced, and her investigation led to the discovery that loopholes in the legal system had allowed hazardous waste to be put into fertilizer for more than two decades.
The 1997 investigative series by The Seattle Times, titled “Fear in the Fields: How Hazardous Waste Becomes Fertilizer” and the book “Fateful Harvest, the True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry and a Toxic Secret” detail the events of the embattled mayor and area farmers.
Safe Food and Fertilizer is a grassroots citizens’ organization whose mission is to protect human health and the environment by advocating for a ban on the use of hazardous and other industrial wastes in fertilizer, soil amendments and animal feed.
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Gonzaga philosophy Assistant Professor Ellen Maccarone will discuss “The Post-Industrial Eater: Aligning Ethical Values and Food Choices,” from 7-9 p.m., also in the Wolff Auditorium.
Maccarone, who earned a doctorate from the University of Florida, teaches applied ethics and theory. Last March, Maccarone chaired the GU peace conference titled, “Causes of Conflict, Conditions for Peace.” A member of the International Society for Environmental Ethics and the Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World, among other organizations, Maccarone said she will discuss in her lecture the opportunities food choices present to exercise personal values daily.
Maccarone will demonstrate how to make these value-based decisions about food by using three commonly held values that will also impact the way people make decisions in other important areas of their lives.
In addition, a food-themed art exhibition opens Nov. 30 in the Jundt Art Museum’s Arcade Gallery and runs through March 8, 2008. The exhibit, titled “Food for Thought,” will present prints depicting food and related themes from the GU art collection and private collections. For me information, contact English Assistant Professor Heather Easterling at (509) 323-6682 or via e-mail.