Back to All Events

The Standard American Diet and Its Ecological Impact

A presentation by Professor David Cleveland (UCSB)

David Cleveland is a human ecologist who has done research and development project work on sustainable agrifood systems with small-scale farmers and gardeners around the world, including in Bawku District, Upper East Region (Ghana), Oaxaca (Mexico), Zuni and Hopi (southwest USA), Peshawar Basin, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (Pakistan) and Santa Barbara County (California, USA). He earned an M.S. in genetics and a Ph.D. (1980) in ecological anthropology from the University of Arizona, and is a Research Professor in the Environmental Studies Program, and the Department of Geography University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He is also co-director of the Center for People, Food and Environment in Tucson, Arizona.

Cleveland’s research and teaching have focused on sustainable, small-scale agrifood systems, including plant breeding and conservation of crop genetic diversity, local and scientific knowledge and collaboration between farmers and scientists, and on the role of local food systems in climate change, nutrition, and food sovereignty.

He is currently researching the potential for agrifood system localization and diet change, to improve nutrition, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote food and climate justice, in California, the US, and globally. His latest book is Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture (2014, University of California Press).