CSU professor researches whether healing our divided nation can start at the dinner table

Contact for reporters:

Stacy Nick

Note to journalists: CSU Sociology Professor Michael Carolan is available for interviews. More information can be found at https://col.state/78bKc. All assets — including photos and podcast audio/transcripts — are also available for media use.

As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, some may be feeling a growing sense of joy and togetherness and others may have a sense of impending dread — specifically about all that togetherness. As society’s divides have gotten deeper and more hostile, the Thanksgiving table has become a place where conversations — even among loved ones — can turn ugly.

Colorado State University Sociology Professor and Food Systems Institute Co-director Michael Carolan studies our connection to food and food systems. His latest publication is the 2022 getAbstract International Book Award winning work, A Decent Meal: Building Empathy in a Divided America. In the book, Carolan researches ways to build empathy in places of common ground — in the fields growing our fruits and vegetables, in the aisles of our supermarkets, and around the dinner table. 

In a new episode of CSU’s podcast, The Audit, host Stacy Nick spoke with Carolan to find out more about his research and how food and food systems could be the bridge for a deeply divided country.

The podcast, along with a full transcript of the interview, can be found here.