Prince's Food Sustainability Talk Resonates with Students
May 4, 2011 – Georgetown students said they were glad to hear the Prince of Wales advocate for keeping food production secure for future generations during his May 4 speech at Georgetown.
“His message is a powerful one,” said Eduardo Estrada (G’11) of Bogota, Colombia, a graduate student at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI). “We need to account for the true costs of food production, incorporating financial, social and environmental aspects in order to move toward food systems that are friendly to the environment.”
Rafi Goldberg (G’11), also a GPPI student, said he appreciated the prince’s understanding of how seemingly separate issues relate in the quest for food sustainability.
“The prince’s visit to Georgetown has been a fantastic opportunity for us to learn more about his personal experience with sustainable agriculture, as well as his proposal to shift farm subsidies toward sustainable practices,” Goldberg said.
Caitlin Koury (NHS’13) said she enjoyed listening to the speech because of the prince’s emphasis on community.
“[He] said we must value the local communities, understand how they grow and produce goods, as well as what they like to eat and how they work and what they value,” said Koury, a health care management and policy major from Red Bank, N.J. “[He] also emphasized that resilience and diversity are necessary to make food sustainability happen in any community.
The Prince of Wales said food shortages are a growing international problem due to climate change.“Already yields are suffering in Africa and India where crops are failing to cope with ever-increasing temperatures and fluctuating rainfalls,” he said.
He also referred to last year’s wheat harvest failure in Russia and droughts in China that raised food prices around the world.
“It is a situation I fear will only become more volatile as we suffer yet more natural disasters,” he said.
Estrada and Goldberg are both enrolled in a GPPI course on international sustainable development.
“I was very pleased to hear Prince Charles talk about many of the issues that we have been discussing all semester,” said Estrada. “He is someone who has managed to use his royal status to challenge some of the existing assumptions regarding the way that we produce food in the world and the ability of sustainable agriculture to feed a rapidly growing population.”