Panel Discussion Debunks Many Myths of Modern Food Systems

20150512-DSC_8886 smallNet Impact, an Orfalea College of Business student club, welcomed more than 350 students and guests to a lively panel discussion titled “Sustainable Food Systems and the Role of Technology’ on Tuesday, May 12. The event, moderated by Ecominics area Chair Steve Hamilton, featured local and national agricultural leaders who shared their perspectives on the role of technology in developing sustainable food systems for the future.

Panelists included Tom Ikeda of Ikeda Bros Farm, Melanie Blankenship of Nature’s Touch Plant Nursery Carl Jones of Monsanto, and Tim LaSalle, an agricultural consultant. The panelists also fielded numerous questions addressing waste within the food cycle, technology and the future of food systems, scalability of new farming practices for increasing populations, as well as the highly charged debate over the health and safety of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops on humans.

Planning and hosting was overseen by Net Impact’s club president Vania Tso, who reported the club received “positive feedback from many Cal Poly students.” Due in part to the lively discussion generated, Tso mentioned that Net Impact is “planning to continue this event in the Spring Quarter on similar subjects as well as through other events throughout the year.”

Watch the entire discussion at

Net Impact inspires positive change and responsibly minded business individuals through a learn by doing approach. The club holds weekly meetings, including speakers and workshops, as well as networking opportunities connecting students to nonprofits looking for advice on sustainability and business guidance. To learn more or get involved with club activities, visit