Food for Thought

Food for Thought was a two-year, award-winning Indiana Humanities program presented by Indiana's Family of Farmers, examining and celebrating the ways food helps to define Indiana’s culture, and our place in the world.

Food for Thought

The need for food links humans across the globe, but the food we eat, the way we grow, prepare and eat it, our mealtime rituals, traditions and conversations…all of these elements distinguish us as cultures and individuals.

Food for Thought was a two-year, award-winning Indiana Humanities program presented by Indiana’s Family of Farmers. Through this program, Hoosiers examined and celebrated the ways food helps to define Indiana’s culture, and considered food in the context of history, law, politics, science, the arts, religion, ethnicity and our place in the world. Together, we shared and sampled the cultures reflected at the state’s table and addressed the local and global issues of hunger, nutrition, food production, obesity, food security and safety.

Elements of the program included:

Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest

Writer David Hoppe and photographer Kristin Hess spent a year traveling the state to interview and photograph a lively cross-section of individuals — from James Beard-nominated chefs to blueberry farmers, bison ranchers to activists working to feed the hungry — all of whom are helping to make this such an extraordinary time in the history of Hoosier cuisine. The result:  a soft-cover coffee table book, which can be purchased on and at local gift shops and bookstores. Or, contact Kristen Fuhs Wells at for more information.

Traveling Exhibit

An exhibit that engaged and educated Hoosiers about global and local food issues, increased awareness about Indiana’s rich agricultural history and stimulated conversation among families and communities.


Through a partnership program, Indiana Humanities supported food-related programs throughout Indiana, such as Traditional Arts Indiana’s Second Servings podcasts, which you can listen to here.

A blog devoted to Indiana food, covering topics in agribusiness, literature, hunger, history and more.

Hoosier Food Stories

We collected Indiana food stories from Hoosiers like you at the traveling exhibit’s Story Silo, through a written story on the blog, and contests with the Indiana State Fair and for Thanksgiving.

Teacher Materials

A variety of digital curriculum guides and resource lists for K-12 teachers centered around food. A partnership with Savor Indiana to provide curriculum materials in science, math, social studies and language arts.

Food Resources

A list of resources, including book recommendations and links to Indiana food blogs and websites, as well as games, trivia and more.


Food for Thought: How Hoosiers Can End Hunger. A panel discussion about global and local hunger that featured Roger Thurow, author and journalist; Ted McKinney, senior director corporate affairs at Elanco; and Jerry Adams, chairman of the board at Second Helpings. WFYI broadcast the discussion on Tuesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. on 90.1 FM.

Spirit & PlaceThe November Spirit & Place Festival was themed Food for Thought, and featured a variety of humanities inspired presentations and discussions.

An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. Indiana Humanities co-presented this event with Spirit & Place Festival, and brought in two vibrant celebrity chefs for a conversation about food and culture on Sept. 30. View images from the event, as well as pre- and post-party events.

FoodCon and FoodCon2. An unconventional convention at the Harrison Center for the Arts.