The Tasting Cultures Foundation, Inc., Founder and Director
New York City, New York
The Tasting Cultures Foundation, Inc. develops diverse educational programming about the intersection of food and culture. A main focus of TCF is “The Arts of Foodways,” traveling exhibits that highlight artists’ connection to food. By looking at the world through the lens of food, TCF engages communities on culture, art, healing, ritual, medicine, cuisine, agriculture, biocultural diversity, migration of people and plants, and climate. A recent multimedia program, “The Arts of Latino Foodways,” highlights over 30 artists from Latin America and the United States who explore food and culture in diverse media. Educational programming around the exhibit included a performance by Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, The Comedy Cooking Show con Karimi and Comrades, and art classes over a four-month period.
Born in Pakistan and raised on the East Coast, Sarah received her BA from Smith College majoring in History with a concentration in the Middle East and Arabic. She received two Masters degrees, in Public Health and Human Clinical Nutrition, at Columbia University. It was during her six months of fieldwork among the Bedouin of the Negev Desert in southern Israel that she began to learn about Bedouin food culture, herbal, and healing traditions. Sarah pursued a PhD in Traditional Knowledge Systems (Ethnobotany) with a specialization in South Asian and Asian healing systems, specifically Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine —two traditions that classify food as medicine. Sarah was an Assistant Scientist at UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Family Medicine/Integrative Medicine program. She developed clinical research interventions that address obesity from a multidisciplinary perspective, incorporating healthy culinary, mindfulness and movement practices for diverse communities.
Sarah received grants to conduct fieldwork in the Middle East, India, and China: The Excellence in Nutrition Fellowship from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University for research in the Negev (1995); The J. William Fulbright Fellowship for pre-doctoral dissertation research in India (2001); The Council of the American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC-Smithsonian) Multi-Country Fellowship Program for research in India (2003); and three awards from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Botany In Action for fieldwork in India and China (2003-06). She was awarded the Whole Thinking Retreats Fellowship, Center for Whole Communities (2007) where race and environmental issues are explored. She was a food and culture consultant to the Community Advisory Committee for the Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas Program, a multi-institutional arts festival and conference in New York City (2007-09).
Sarah has been on the Board of Advisors of the Natural Gourmet Institute of Food and Culinary Arts since 2003. She is a Council Member-at-Large of the Society of Economic Botany (2008-11); a Donella Meadows Fellow; and an active volunteer for Smith College.
Sarah has been writing informative, colorful, and aromatic posts on her organization’s blog since 2009. She also contributes articles on food, health, and the environment to Zester Daily, an online collection of the latest news from experienced journalists from around the globe on all aspects of food and wine.
Sarah Khan on The Tasting Cultures Foundation, produced by the Alumnae Association of Smith College, November 2010
Updated June 2011.
Expertise: Agriculture and Food, Art and Culture, Children and Youth, Environment, Families, Indigenous Peoples, LGBT, Social Justice, Women
Sector: Education, Health, Media, Philanthropy, Research
Geography: Asia, East, USA, India, Mid-West, USA, Middle East, North America, Pakistan, United States