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UM Sustainable Food Systems Initiative pres.

"Meat, antibiotics, and the power of consumer pressure"

Maryn McKenna

Maryn McKenna Maryn McKenna
Maryn McKenna
UPDATE: All remaining Food Literacy for All sessions will take place virtually starting on Tuesday, March 17. Community members will still be able to tune in at 6:30pm here:


In the early 1950s, farmers began adding small doses of antibiotics to the diets of livestock. The drugs caused animals to put on weight more quickly and protected them against diseases, laying the foundation for modern intensive meat production — but they also fostered the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria that became a profound human health threat. Reversing that history mistake took decades of research and policy maneuvering, but what really turned the tide was neither better science not tougher regulations: It was the power of consumer coalitions forcing the meat industry to change.


Food Literacy for All is a community-academic partnership course started in 2017. Structured as an evening lecture series, Food Literacy for All features different guest speakers each week to address challenges and opportunities of diverse food systems. The course is designed to prioritize engaged scholarship that connects theory and practice. By bringing national and global leaders, we aim to ignite new conversations and deepen existing commitments to building more equitable, health-promoting, and ecologically sustainable food systems.

The course is co-led by Cindy Leung (School of Public Health), Jerry Ann Hebron (Oakland Ave. Farm) and Lilly Fink Shapiro (Sustainable Food Systems Initiative). In partnership with Detroit Food Policy Council and FoodLab Detroit.

See here for more information:

Community members should register for each Food Literacy for All session here:

This course is presented by the UM Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, with support from the Food Systems Theme in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), the Center for Latin and Caribbean Studies (LACS), the CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, the Residential College, the School of Public Health’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, the Department of English Language and Literature, the Center for Academic Innovation, and the King•Chávez•Parks Visiting Professors Program.

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