Q&A with Lydia Zepeda, a consumer science professor in the School of Human Ecology
What Professor Lydia Zepeda imparts to her students is something that her father used to tell her: “Learn to do something difficult well, and you will always have a job.” This has been true for Zepeda since earning her master’s and PhD in agricultural economics from the University of California at Davis. She’s been a UW professor since 1988 and currently teaches a consumer science course called Sustainable and Socially Just Consumption and an international studies class called What Is Food?
Zepeda’s knowledge of food culture includes consumption, production, and distribution choices that are linked to more healthful, sustainable, and socially just food access. She puts these areas of expertise into practice as the faculty adviser for Slow Food UW, a student group that works to make local, community-conscious food accessible.
My assigned reading includes:
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and selections from Rachel Carson, Claude Fischler, Gerda Lerner, Vandana Shiva, and others.
At the moment, I’m reading:
My grandfather’s copy of Amado Nervo’s El Estanque de los Lotos
Periodicals and publications I enjoy paging through are:
- Agriculture and Human Values
- The Guardian
Some favorite pieces I’ve worked on have been:
- "The Huitlacoche Project: A Tale of Smut and Gold" in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
- “Carving Values with a Spoon” in Food and Philosophy: Eat, Think, and Be Merry
The one thing that everyone needs to read is:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I keep meaning to get around to reading:
Any book by Marion Nestle, Gilles Lipovesky, or Guadalupe Loaeza
The title of my memoirs — if I ever write them — would be:
Just the Facts