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Monday Is Food Day All Over America

National organizer The Center for Science in the Public Interest ran an impressive campaign for its first annual Food Day, supporting local restaurants, neighborhoods, and colleges with webinars, guidelines, logos, and tech support – and featuring six food issues for investigation and action on Food Day:

  • Reduce diet-related diseases
  • Support sustainable farms
  • Support access to food and alleviate hunger
  • Protect the environment and animals
  • Curb junk-food marketing to kids
  • Support fair conditions for food and farm workers. 

Today, hundreds of organizations, including colleges and universities are celebrating Food Day. Babson College is one of them.

Until this summer, Babson wasn’t specifically food-focused. Sure, it had incubated local food businesses like Food Should Taste Good and Stone Hearth Pizza, but Babson is best known for 18+ years of leadership in entrepreneurship education.

Then along came Food Sol. The two-month-old start-up is housed inside the school’s Social Innovation Lab and plugs Babson’s entrepreneurial approach into supporting responsible food business.

What Babson brings to the food sector is Entrepreneurship of All Kinds® – the notion that entrepreneurs are not merely people that want to start businesses. They are people who think and act nimbly in contexts of great uncertainty.

The one-word definition of entrepreneurship is action. This is a refreshing position in a time when people are sick of hearing about problems.

As Babson Professor Gaurab Bhardwaj says, “The successful entrepreneur clearly identifies the problem in question. A clearly-defined problem intrinsically has boundaries. Most of us take the problem for granted- especially when it is big- and this is why we don’t tend to get very far with solving big problems.” 

The six bullets above are all big problems, and food advocates love to discuss them – heatedly – while munching on local beets and kale.

That’s fine. We need them. We need all the initiatives out there for food-system innovation – for-profit, non-profit, national, local, and individual players. But we also need sound, replicable action.

Food Day is Babson’s demonstration that it is now working in food.

Carbon War Room CEO Jigar Shah, known for his instrumental roles in clean tech (among them, founding SunEdison), recently shifted focus toward agriculture. In his breakthrough piece “Can the Local Food Movement Scale Up?” Shah explores the parallels and interdependencies between energy and agriculture.

“Agriculture has suffered from less entrepreneurship than other sectors.”

Until now.

Today, come to Babson see how Action Trumps Everything and see what’s cooking!

Rachel Greenberger
Director, Food Sol at Babson College