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Boise State Distinguished Lecture Series Presents Economist, Food Activist Raj Patel Oct. 6

Photo Credit: Marco Flavio Marinucci

The Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series at Boise State University presents Raj Patel at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom. The lecture is free and no tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free parking is available in the Lincoln Avenue Garage.

Patel is an award-winning writer, activist and academic. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed book “Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System,” and of “The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy,” which examines the hidden costs of consumption. His work on sustainability, food and economics has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

His visit to Boise State coincides with the Year of Idaho Food, a yearlong grassroots project designed to unite the state on the subject of food, and follows up on a Sept. 2 food security symposium sponsored in part by Boise State’s Arts and Humanities Institute.

Patel is an advocate for sustainable practices in relation to food and agriculture, making the case for reform of a globalized food system that simultaneously produces hunger and obesity while destroying sustainable ways of life, and on the relationships between our economic system and environmental and social needs.

After working at both the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, Patel became an activist who has opposed their policies on four continents. He testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on the causes of the global food crisis.

Patel is a fellow at the Institute for Food and Development Policy (also known as Food First) and an adviser to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, PBS and Al Jazeera.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate in development sociology from Cornell. He is a visiting scholar at U.C. Berkeley’s Center for African Studies, was formerly a visiting scholar at Yale and is an honorary research fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

The Distinguished Lecture Series features speakers who have had major impacts in politics, the arts, science, business or in other realms of contemporary significance. Former speakers in the series include environmental architect William McDonough, National Book Award winner Jonathan Kozol, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, Nobel laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, biologist E.O. Wilson and Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former president of Poland Lech Walesa, among others.


Media Contact: Kathleen Tuck, University Communications, (208) 426-3275,

About Boise State University
As an emerging metropolitan research university of distinction, Boise State University plays a crucial role in the region’s economic development and famed quality of life. Idaho’s largest institution of higher education offers nearly 200 degrees and certificates in seven colleges. While remaining committed to the strong teaching legacy that has resulted in 11 Idaho Professor of the Year awards since 1990, Boise State’s added emphasis on innovation and creativity is fueling the fastest growing research program in Idaho.

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