Professor Satinder Dhiman, associate dean of the School of Business and chair and director of the MBA program, presented a faculty colloquium on February 14, 2018 which drew upon his ongoing research for his forthcoming book, “Conscious Consumption: Diet, Sustainability and Well-Being” (Routledge, 2019).
In his presentation, Dhiman shared some important food for thought with his audience, exploring the economics, ethics, and ecology of our diet. Even though food is a topic that often prompts an extreme response depending on one’s point of view and dietary preference, Dhiman did not shy away from tackling this controversial topic and made the case for a plant-based diet as one of the most effective solutions to global warming, sustainability of our eco-systems, and public and personal health and well-being. The uniqueness of this approach, he affirmed, lies in its humanity and its locus of control: it depends upon each one of us. Among the eye-opening data he shared was a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which demonstrated that our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases than either transportation or industry. Research has also found that the total supply of crop being fed to animals could feed at least 6 billion people. Dhiman’s forthcoming book on this topic is the outcome of a concerted research, set out over the last two years, which began when he taught the first sustainability course in Woodbury’s MBA program in the summer 2016. The MBA program offered a second elective in this area in summer 2017 and will be offering another elective on the topic of Ethics of Sustainability during summer 2018.