About the Lab
Through innovative teaching and learning, cutting edge research, and meaningful food production, the lab will address issues of food, diet, health, access, sustainability, and human and environmental relationships. Ultimately, although the lab’s work will spring from the local, the solutions it envisions will be scalable to other food-sheds around the country and the world, and it will examine other successful models from around the world that can be adapted to the Eastern Shore food-shed.
The ESFL will work as a catalyst to change modern Western perceptions of food, proactively shaping how people perceive new food ideas and helping propel sustainable solutions that can support and incentivize local businesses. Through classes and workshops, the lab will sustainably produce nutrient-dense food based in the local foodshed, reconnecting people and the community to the foundations of their food resources and working towards a community-supported kitchen.
The first director of the ESFL, and one of the primary visionaries behind it, is Bill Schindler, chair of the Department of Anthropology and associate professor of anthropology. A behavioral science expert in primitive technologies and foodways—food production, dietary health, and cultural meanings of food—Schindler is especially interested in how the ESFL can work as a catalyst to change traditional perceptions of food and reconnect people to both their historical foodways as well as their future food resources.