Food Ethics | Drained Bones and Invisible Red Lines

In 2014, in what can only be described as some kind of mid-life crisis, I decided to turn our sprawling backyard in Northeast Ithaca into a small suburban farm. The disquiets and ponderings that activated this decision were these: an increasing awareness of the global environmental ramifications of industrial agriculture, the alienation we feel from the sources of our own food, the carbon miles embedded in each bite we take, the unfathomable suffering of the people who work to bring us our cheap food and the desire to have better control over the quality of the food I eat with my family. I was also interested in the slow carving up of productive farmland into small plots, and felt this “third space” of wasted land in the suburbs could be both scalable and transformative in the quest for a better, more immediate food system. At the deepest level, I wanted to understand the implications of my own manual labor and the labor of food production, the true costs of which have become largely a hidden externality in our lumbering, wasteful food production system. This was not some back to the land movement on my part, but rather a decision borne out of my moral discomfort with the food system in which I live, the social justice violence it entails, and how this system alienates us from our own hands and bodies and those of the people who do the manual labor of growing and harvesting and transporting crops.

LEE | Put Students First

Cornell prides itself in being one of the best research universities in the world. The depth and breadth of research endeavors are true to Ezra Cornell’s founding mission of “any person … any study,” and its faculty are some of the most renowned scholars in their field. Yet, the emphasis placed on scholarly activities often come at the expense of student learning and experience. Around this time every semester, I am shocked at the number of Ivy League professors who put so little effort into their syllabi that they forget to change even the term of the course from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019. It is no secret that the setup of a research university enables faculty members to thrive so long as they are actively involved in their research interests and advisement of graduate students under their direct supervision.