Journalist, Author, Scholar Focused on Food, Sustainability
and Social Change di Business and Government
Simran Sethi is a journalist and researcher focused on food, sustainability and social change. Named the environmental “messenger” by Vanity Fair and designated one of the top eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire, Sethi is the creator of The Slow Melt, the first podcast on the continuum of chocolate, winner of the 2017 Saveur magazine award for Best Food Podcast. She is also the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love (HarperCollins). The book addresses changes in food and agriculture through the lens of flavour and stories of bread, wine, chocolate, coffee and beer. It was named one of the best food books of 2016 by Smithsonian. She is a fellow at the Institute for Food and Development Policy in Oakland, USA, and a former visiting scholar at the Cocoa Research Centre in St. Augustine, Trinidad.
Lauded as an “environmental woman of impact” by Daily Variety, Sethi has written for outlets including Smithsonian, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Guernica and La Stampa. She is the contributing author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, winner of the bronze 2008 Axiom Award for Best Business Ethics Book.
Sethi is the former environmental correspondent for NBC News, which included contributions to CNBC, MSNBC, TODAY and Nightly News. She has produced environmental programming for PBS and Sundance Channel, and was the host of the EMMY award-winning documentary, A School in the Woods.
She has lectured on writing, agricultural biodiversity, food, environmentalism and sustainability at institutions including Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University, the Iowa Writers Workshop and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and events including the Global Landscapes Forum, World Cocoa Conference and Salone del Libro. Sethi has also moderated events with Al Gore, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.
Sethi holds an M.B.A. in sustainable business from the Presidio Graduate School and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in sociology and women’s studies from Smith College. The College awarded her the Smith College Medal in 2009.
“Simran did a wonderful job keynoting the Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference, and our participants enjoyed her presentation very much! One of them told me how much he appreciated that she “cares” about the farm, food and people. She is a gifted journalist and presenter.”
–Ken Toong, Founder, Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference, Executive Director of Auxiliary Enterprises, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Simran Sethi is one of the great environmental storytellers of our generation. Imagine taking on such complex topics as food security and sustainable agriculture, and making them not only easily understandable through focusing on a food many love (chocolate), but stirring the genesis of passion for powerful advocacy. Her message is both digestible and delicious in both meanings of both words!”
–Keith Diaz Moore, Dean, College of Architecture + Planning, University of Utah
“Simran Sethi is an original and important voice in today’s increasingly complex world of food. Where as some who have fallen deep into food have difficulty translating their ideas beyond the choir, Simran has a knack to communicate to both novice and expert alike with a wondrous sense of adventure and practical learning. Amongst the many big names at Slow Food Nations, Simran stole the show for her humor, warmth and dead-serious subject matter.”
–Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, Slow Food USA
“If you’re looking for a presenter who will stay in the middle of the road, who won’t rock the boat, and who will stick to the status quo, take a pass on Simran Sethi. By contrast, if you’re looking for a speaker who’s smart, insightful, passionate and powerful, call Simran. Her presentations are lively, thought provoking, and positively memorable.”
–Ari Weinzweig, Cofounder, Zingermans Community of Businesses
“In our current socio-political environment—cluttered with too much information, tainted by fake news, and compromised by faulty values—Simran Sethi cuts through the noise with her clear, smart, passionate and engaging voice. Drawing on her personal experience, uncompromising journalism, sharp analysis, and gifted storytelling, Sethi brings a rare and welcome combination of interests and skills to the world of food.”
–Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President, the James Beard Foundation
“Simran’s Cornell lecture on foods and peoples was a beautiful tapestry of history, culture, science, art, and humor. She tolds the audience spellbound as she spins her tale and brings the message of how we live and what we eat and drink (and why) back home. Ultimately, hers is a message of joy.”
–Christopher P. Dunn, Executive Director, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Cornell University
“Simran Sethi gave a compelling keynote address at our annual farmer forum, where we convened a diverse range of farmer partners. Farmers are at the heart of what we eat every day, and recognizing her deep connection to them through her work, Sethi thoughtfully engaged our farmer partners around the value they bring as they continue to pursue sustainable agriculture practices in favor of more biodiversity, and ultimately, more choices for American families.”
–Steeve Yammine, Vice-President, DanoneWave
“Lawrence is a community that is very engaged in the sustainable food movement and hearing Simran Sethi’s talk about her book Bread, Wine, Chocolate was illuminating, to say the least. Any foodie would be interested in hearing insights into the homogenization of our favorite foods, and the far-ranging impact of making food easy on the bottom lines of food companies to the detriment of the environment and the food itself.”
— Kristin Soper, Event Coordinator, Lawrence Public Library
“Simran Sethi brought a unique perspective to our community of scientists and researchers. Her ability to weave science with deeply personal narrative is rare. Simran provided evidence-based research couched in storytelling to keep the audience rapt and inspired to find their own voices in teaching and sharing their science to emulate the impact Simran had on them.”
— Michelle Wyman, Executive Director, National Council for Science and the Environment
“Simran rounded out our recent media expert panel on food and travel trends by offering an interesting insight from a broadcast and author perspective. Her keynote was insightful and on-point, delivered with humor, useful audience takeaways and extremely engaging. We would recommend Simran and warmly invite her back to the Colorado Tourism Office tourism conference again.”
— Sarah-Jane Johnson, Colorado Tourism Office