Day 6: Let’s Talk Soda

Politics of Food class discussing the problems of “empty” calories, sugar, and obesity faced in the world today.

It’s business as usual on this rainy Monday at the Morven Summer Institute and students and professors are hard at work tackling difficult topics in their respective classes!

This coke bottle is filled with the amount of sugar that it actually contains...YUCK, right? Photo-courtesy of Emily Sydnor.

This coke bottle is filled with the amount of sugar that it actually contains…YUCK, right?
Photo-courtesy of Emily Sydnor.

Today, the Politics of Food class tackles the interesting and controversial topic of soda and its “contribution to poor public health outcomes,” as Professor Paul Freedman puts it. More specifically, their discussion focuses on “soda, obesity, and policy responses.”

Professor Freedman asks students to ponder such questions as:

What should we do about soda consumption in the United States? What is the nature of the problem, if there is a problem? What solutions should be pursued?

As we all know, obesity is a serious problem that our country faces today. Political figures such as Michelle Obama have taken steps to get this issue at the forefront of public policymaking and educational curriculums across the country. Programs such as “The Edible Schoolyard,” founded by Alice Waters, in California are sprouting up all over the country promoting the availability of and education about healthy, local, and organic foods in all public and private school systems.

Here in Charlottesville, we have The City Schoolyard Garden Initiative, which seeks to “cultivate academic achievement, health, environmental stewardship, and community engagement through garden-based, experiential learning in Charlottesville City Schools.” (see

This is a great initiative and you should definitely check out what they’re doing local Charlottesville area!

In other news, it’s a very rainy and muggy day out here at Morven…but, man, are the plants loving it…


Notice the nice, UVA-colored flowers growing in a window-box outside of the Meeting Barn!


A patch of clovers still wet from last night’s rain.

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