US gathering will equip students to transform global food system

Three-day event will devise strategies to curb meat and promote plant-rich foods

Students from across the world will gather at Harvard University in the US next month to plot a course towards a food system that is “sustainable, equitable, healthy and cruelty-free”.

Food 4 Thought takes place from 12-14 April 2024 and is a first-of-a-kind gathering organised by students from both Harvard University and Tufts University to focus the brightest minds on developing a viable future for the food system.

Supported by food awareness organisation ProVeg International, Food 4 Thought is a response to rocketing meat consumption that places a huge and growing strain on the world’s ecological systems, as well as people’s health. 

The event is also a response to mounting scientific evidence that finds that plant-based diets are vital for both mitigating climate change and improving human health. 

“Food 4 Thought is challenging the norms of how we think about food. We want to highlight and uplift strategies that move towards a sustainable, equitable, and cruelty-free food system. As students, we are uniquely positioned to play a transformative role in this future,” Navin Durbhakula, Harvard student and co-founder of Food 4 Thought, said.

“With meat consumption expect to rise by 50% in the next 25 years, we need to equip students around the world as best we can with the knowledge, funding and opportunities to help them play their part in braking and, ultimately, reversing the damage being caused by the current food system,” Durbhakula said. 

Students are not only being called to lead the way in food system transformation but some universities are already proving effective at doing so 1,2, ensuring that part or all of the food served on university campuses is plant-based. 

April’s event will give students the chance to receive funding and technical assistance for ideas that promote food system change, ranging from research projects to food start-ups. Students will also be provided with access to a network of mentors and organizations that cover a diverse range of careers supporting food system transformation.

Panel discussions will focus on diverse subjects such as food law and policy, how to start and grow a food business, the significance of cultivated meat and the procurement of plant-based foods by university canteens. 

“Students play a vital role in the future of the food system and Food 4 Thought will give them the headstart they need to steer their careers towards affecting real change,” Jasmijn de Boo, Global CEO at ProVeg International, said. 

“ProVeg is very happy to support this event which we hope will have the knock-on effect of spawning initiatives by university students across the world that promote the shift to plant-based and cultivated foods,” de Boo said.



  1. The University of Texas reaches major milestone with half of all meals served being plant based | The Humane Society of the United States
  2.  Momentum builds for Europe’s universities to embrace plant-based catering | ProVeg International

Notes for Editors

For media inquiries and interviews, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]

About Food 4 Thought

Food 4 Thought is a student-led nonprofit looking to assemble future food leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs into one place to envision that future together. Through impactful programming, the organization aims to give students and other attendees the tools and knowledge to help shape the future of food to be more sustainable, equitable, healthy, and cruelty-free.

About ProVeg International

ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040. Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. 

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