Speaker Series Talks Food Choices

Humans are complex organisms, but each person can make ethical choices about what they eat, according to the featured speaker at this year’s Dr. Imtiaz Moosa Philosophy and Ethics Speaker Series at UW-River Falls.

Lisa Heldke, philosophy professor and director of The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., will discuss how and why people make choices about what they eat as part of her presentation “Stuck on You: Ethics in the Age of Parasitism” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Kinnickinnic Theater in the University Center, E. 501 Wild Rose Ave., River Falls. A reception before Heldke’s talk begins at 3:30 p.m. 

Heldke’s address includes a Q&A session. The event is free, open to the public, and will serve refreshments.

Heldke said she views humans as communities of organisms who can make choices about their next meal. She plans to pose questions about how to make ethical decisions about what foods we consume.

Heldke teaches a variety of courses, ranging from modern philosophy to studying cooking and eating. She has authored numerous works on those topics:

  • “Philosophers at Table: On Food and Being Human,”
  • “Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer,” and
  • “The Encyclopedia of Food and Agriculture Ethics.”

Heldke is also co-creator of The John Dewey Kitchen Institute which invites educators to use cooking and eating as a means of classroom teaching. 

UWRF established the speaker series in 2021 in tribute to Philosophy Professor Imtiaz Moosa. Moosa taught at the university from 1989 until his unexpected death in December 2020. The series features leading experts and thought leaders with expertise in pressing societal issues.