Lindsay Kalter, Health Care Reporter at the Boston Herald, 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.
Lindsay’s medical column for the Boston Herald, Pulse, covers innovation and public health issues in Massachusetts. She reports on both health and politics, covering rallies in the early-voting state of New Hampshire. Previously, she investigated topics at the intersection of health and technology at Politico.
Food Tank had the chance to speak with Lindsay about her background, inspiration, and hope for the future of the food system.
Food Tank (FT): What originally inspired you to get involved with your work?
Lindsay Kalter (LK): I lost my father to cancer as a teenager. Feeling a distance from my peers, I buried myself in health news, soaking up information that was both fascinating and relatable. Since then, I have made it my goal to convey that news to others.
FT: What makes you continue to want to be involved in this kind of work?
LK: I’m motivated to continue health reporting by the brilliant and inspiring people I am able to interview on a daily basis, and the feedback I get from readers thanking me for highlighting the struggles they have faced in their own lives.
FT: Who inspired you as a kid?
LK: There is not one person who inspired me as a kid—I drew collective inspiration from several people and forces moving in and out of my life: teachers, my parents, and my favorite authors who told compelling stories about people while shaping my world view.
FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?
LK: There is not a silver bullet that can fix the broken food system. There needs to be change in policy and education to fix some of the root agricultural and nutritional issues in the country and worldwide. Perhaps one of the best things that can be done to ensure progress is educating the younger populations about this to put it on the next generation’s radar at a young age.
FT: Can you share a story about a food hero who inspired you?
LK: Michele Simon, of eatdrinkpolitics.com, is an inspirational food hero. She’s a lawyer who fights corporations that are putting the public’s health at risk, and has been at it for 20-plus years.
FT: What is the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you would like to see solved?
LK: Uncertainty under the Trump administration is a major issue for agriculture. Policies involving labor, energy, and trade will all determine the health of the industry, and there is a big question mark looming over each of those.
FT: What is one small change everyone can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?
LK: Have conversations about the food system—work to understand the science behind it and bring it to the forefront of people’s minds. For the most fortunate, it is an invisible issue. Inaction and complacency can be more harmful than the wrong action at times.
FT: What advice would you give to President Trump and the U.S. Congress on food and agriculture?
LK: I don’t have the experience or the authority to advise the administration or Congress, but I would hope Trump recognizes rural America—in addition to its economic contributions to the country—helped get him elected.