Intersection of current events and food at Global Neighborhood Dinner

The Global Neighborhood Association recently hosted its second dinner of the 2015-16 academic year, which featured Assistant Professor Aunchalee Palmquist discussing infant feeding issues in the Syrian refugee crisis.

Students from the Global Neighborhood and faculty and staff members met together Oct. 6 to continue the exploration of the year’s theme of “Food: the culture, ethics, and politics of eating.”  Assistant Professor Aunchalee Palmquist from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology served as the guest speaker.

Palmquist gave a presentation on the issue of infant feeding in the Syrian refugee crisis. Close to 50 percent of the 11 million people affected by the crisis are children. In this situation, infants are particularly vulnerable to poor nutrition, which can have long-term health and cognitive consequences. 

Agencies like the World Health Organization recommend breastfeeding for all children under 6 months of age, but there are many political, safety and cultural issues that complicate the choice between breast milk and formula. 

Students, faculty, and staff participated in a lively discussion of issues raised for the refugees as well as for women here in the United States.

The Global Neighborhood dinners are a chance for students to integrate their academic, residential, and social life by enjoying great food and intellectual discussion.  In November, Associate Professor Betty Morgan will lead a discussion that considers food from a political science perspective.