Title: Director, Institute for Global Food Systems
College: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Department: Food and Resource Economics
Research Interest: food systems, environmental and biophysical interaction
It doesn’t take long to figure out that James Anderson is not prone to easy platitudes.
The new University of Florida preeminent faculty member sees the large, systemic picture with its endless combinations of factors, each with the ability to make a food system succeed or collapse.
He sees the world as a complex and dynamic web of international trade, markets, regulatory institutions, diverse cultures and values, technology, environmental and biophysical interactions.
As the former leader of the global program on fisheries and aquaculture at the World Bank with expertise in food and resource economics, he sees connections everywhere: “When you eat farmed tilapia in Miami it impacts peoples’ lives and habitat in China; when the U.S. uses corn to produce ethanol to run our cars, the price of tacos in Mexico goes up; and when fisheries are depleted in Somalia and their food distribution systems fails, we end up with pirates in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.”
That kind of shades-of-gray thinking made Anderson the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ choice to lead its new food systems research hub. (Source: IFAS/UF Press Release)