Janelle Nanos, reporter at The Boston Globe, is speaking at the inaugural Boston Food Tank Summit, “Investing in Discovery,” which will be held in collaboration with Tufts University and Oxfam America on April 1, 2017.
Janelle is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, in addition to her reporting for The Boston Globe business section. She writes about ideas, people, and businesses that drive Boston’s innovation economy. She currently teaches a class in magazine writing at Boston College, and she has previously worked for Boston Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, and New York Magazine. She has also penned articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.
Food Tank had the opportunity to ask Janelle a few questions about her work in journalism and her passion for creating less waste in the food system.
Food Tank (FT): What originally inspired you to get involved in your work?
Janelle Nanos (JN): I always loved reading and writing as a kid, and ultimately felt compelled to find ways to share people’s stories with the world.
FT: What makes you continue to want to be involved in this kind of work?
JN: Journalism is more important than ever these days, and working alongside a team of people who love the craft as much as I do makes it easy to come to the office each day.
FT: Who inspired you as a kid?
JN: Looking back, my career path seems obvious when I consider that I was doing book reports on Nellie Bly. I was also transfixed with a woman who came to my school as a professional storyteller. She was telling fables, but I think my quest was always to find a way to tell stories every day as a grown up.
FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?
JN: My hope is that technology will enable connections throughout the food system that will help production, delivery, and consumption to become smarter and less of a strain on our environment.
FT: Can you share a story about a food hero who inspired you?
JN: Here in Boston, I’ve been inspired by the work of former Trader Joe’s president Doug Rauch, who has revolutionized the grocery store model with the Daily Table. By sourcing nearly all of the food through rescue operations and donations, they both cut down on waste and provide a valuable resource to a neighborhood that was seeking a healthy, low-cost food source.
FT: What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved?
JN: Food waste. Knowing the sheer volume of food that is wasted in this country—over 60 million tons in 2015—and the statistics on the number of people who are hungry is one of the things that makes me both upset and hopeful for a significant solution.
FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?
JN: Use your freezer. Not only can you save things from spoiling and have healthy food on hand, but keeping it stocked will help your appliances run more efficiently.
FT: What advice can you give to President Trump and the U.S. Congress on food and agriculture?
JN: To realize that the food industry touches so many facets of Americans’ lives, and to listen to those who see things happening on the ground level.
Click here to purchase tickets to Food Tank’s inaugural Boston Summit.