Princeton researchers recently received a $2.5 million federal grant to improve the sustainability and resiliency of urban food systems. The funding from Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS), which is run jointly by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Institute for Food and Agriculture, was awarded to Anu Ramaswami, the Sanjay Swami ’87 Professor of India Studies and professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Z. Jason Ren, Princeton professor of civil and environmental engineering.
The researchers will lead an interdisciplinary study, which will include input from urban farmers, food scientists, policymakers and nonprofit organizations. The goal is to reduce Earth’s amount of carbon and food waste, encourage healthy diets and nutrition, and improve people’s emotional well-being.
“Our research group will focus on the co-benefits of urban agriculture and novel food-waste management systems that are being considered in different cities worldwide,” said Ramaswami.
Urban areas are ideal places to study and implement such measures, the researchers said, because the majority of food consumption and food-waste generation occur in these settings.
“We all love food and we love cities,” Ramaswami said. “Our project brings both of them together for the good of the larger planet.”