University of California, Riverside

UCR Global Food Initiative


Welcome to UCR's Global Food Initiative


The University of California's Global Food Initiative (GFI) is addressing one of the most compelling issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025. UC GFI has harnessed expertise and resources from across its 10 campuses and through existing efforts and the creation of new collaborations is addressing social, economic, political and ecological issues at the intersection of agri-food system, health and sustainability.

UC Riverside is supporting the effort of the GFI initiative and pooling together its comprehensive resources to form working groups, involves local NGO, Institutes, faculty, students led organizations, and existing committees and programs, to share best practices and strengthen capabilities across campus. Our efforts focus on, sustainable agriculture and food issues (from production to food access), helping communities eat healthier and more sustainably and translating research into policy, and involve all levels, from faculty to students, from campus dining halls to classrooms, laboratories, and student farms.


Highlander Chefs Winter Workshop Series EVENT 1 - Homegrown Meals
UCR Glen Mor market - Tuesday, JANUARY 23 - 5:00-6:30 PM

Highlander Chefs Winter Workshop Series EVENT 2 - 5 Ingredient Recipes
UCR Glen Mor market - Tuesday, FEBRUARY 13 - 5:00-6:30 PM

Highlander Chefs Winter Workshop Series EVENT 3 - Dorm Room Delights
HUB Room 302 - Tuesday, MARCH 6 - 5:00-6:30 PM

Nov. 10th - Basic Needs Report.  Data and analysis to help the university ensure that food and housing needs are being met among UC students.

Oct. 25th - Hungry for Change: Food insecurity, stress and obesity.  The 11th annual sugar, stress and weight conference will be live-streamed. GFI fellows will be in attendance and are expected to write some blog posts about the research being presented.

Oct. 24th - MyLastTrash, a UC-wide zero waste campaign, launches on National Food Day.  We are creating social media assets, a customizable news story and other materials to help with promotion. We are also updating the systemwide website, including adding a form for taking the #MyLastTrash pledge and sharing the pledge on social media:

Oct. 11th & 12th - Hunger U event at UCR. 9am-5pm both days. Where: UCR Olmstead Plaza. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about global hunger and REAL SOLUTIONS when the HungerU mobile educational exhibit visits UCR! To learn more about the GROWING HUNGER ISSUE and HungerU, visit and take the HungerU Challenge. For each challenge survey completed for UCR, HungerU will donate 1 meal to UCR students in need!

Oct. 9th - Menus of Change University Research Collaborative conference.  President Napolitano will participate in a fireside chat with Wendy Slusser

What is the value of a tree?
Lecture Series
February 21, 2017

Trees feature prominently in global culture. Iconic trees include the source of Newton's apple, Buddha's enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the sacred Tree of Life in mythologies around the world. Trees provide security and shelter and are valuable resources for sciences, health and technology. It's frankly hard to imagine a world without trees. Clearly, trees are important, if not essential, to human culture.

A panel of knowledgeable speakers, spoke on February 21-23, 2017 about the importance of trees. This panel was made up of Ryan Berk, co-owner and founder of Parliament Chocolate in Redlands, CA, Associate Professor of Landscape Ecology Darrel Jenerette, and Deputy Director of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) Jason Sohigian.

Read more about this event on The Highlander.

The Science of Food and Health
Lecture Series
April–May, 2016


GMOs: All Facts, No Fiction
Lecture Series
November 4, 2015

Faculty from CNAS and UC Davis were part of a discussion, "GMOs: All Facts, No Fiction," on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at the UCR Extension Center. Moderating the discussion was Greg Jaffe, Director of Biotechnology at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the Global Food Initiative at UCR.

Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnlology Specialist and Geneticist, UC Riverside
Norm Ellstrand, Professor of Genetics, UC Riverside
Belinda Martineau, Senior Writer, Institute for Social Sciences, UC Davis
Josette Lewis, Associate Director, World Food Center, UC Davis

Lecture Series:
A systemwide lecture series on healthy students, healthy campuses and healthy communities.
GFI Basic Needs & Food Insecurity Workgroup
Group of staff, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students to provide support for R'Pantry initiatives.
Healthy Campus Initiative:
An integrated and comprehensive approach to elevate health and well-being at UCR. The initiative invests in improving the health and quality of life of our UCR campus community.
CAFÉ (California Agricultural and Food Enterprise):
Fostering basic and translational research, facilitates interactions with external clientele and funding groups, and provides a conduit for dissemination of scientific information to the public.
Open to students, faculty, staff, and community members, to grow fresh produce while providing an opportunity to learn about social, environmental, and economic sustainability through a food systems approach.
An on-campus service that provides free food assistance for all students.
Highlander Chefs:
Providing a fun and safe environment for food enthusiasts to meet and share ideas, provide community service to those who are underserved and provide an avenue for people to come together through food.
Swipe-Out Hunger UCR (Swipes for the Homeless):
Operates by asking students with UCR meal plans to donate their meal swipes between Week 9 and 10 of each quarter.
Seeds of Change Initiative
Providing healthy, sustainable, socially responsible, and delicious menus to the campus and community.
Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability Food Working Group:
Meets every three weeks to work on sustainable food and organic waste diversion projects.
UCR FarmShare is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program – part of a national trend that brings fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs straight from local farms to universities, businesses and municipalities. UCR Global Issues Forum:
Creating space on campus for students to discuss important global issues beyond the news headlines.
UCR Palm Desert Center - Bringing Ethics to the Table, a lecture and film series, was born from a desire to engage, inform and inspire the community on the topics that matter most, from food scarcity to sustainability. UCR Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies BS in Sustainability Studies:
A new bachelor of science degree in Sustainability Studies that brings science and social justice together in examining environmental.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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