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28 Jul

2014-2015 Hart Fellow Casey Williams featured on The Today Show

Casey Williams has never been an ordinary kind of guy.

Graduated from Duke in 2014, Casey was an A.B. Duke Scholar and a member of the Duke Chronicle’s Editorial Board. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he earned his degree in Literature because of his passion for philosophy and literary theory. However, Casey also cared deeply about issues of environmental sustainability and social justice. For his Hart Fellowship, Casey went to Dhaka, Bangladesh, spending 10 months working with the International Centre for Climate Change and Development. His research focused on exploring the relationship between knowledge of climate change and the ability to adapt to it among climate experts and educated laypeople in Bangladesh and India.

Now an Editorial Fellow for the Huffington Post, Casey has been working on the newspaper’s “Reclaim Campaign,” which was launched in June and centers on food waste. The Huffington Post estimates that, in America, up to 40% of all food produced in this country goes uneaten while, at the same time, 15.3 million children live in food insecure households. In addition to this social injustice, food waste also causes significant environmental and economic consequences, producing billions of tons of greenhouse gases and contributing to global food shortages.

One of the biggest factors in creating food waste is the misconception surrounding expiration dates. Though most Americans believe that food is unsafe to eat after the labelled expiration date, this is often not the case. Expiration dates are not regulated by the FDA, and they are not an indicator of when food becomes unsafe to eat. Instead, expiration dates refer to when foods start to lose their freshness, which doesn’t necessarily pose health risks.

Thus, to disprove these misconceptions, Casey Williams spent a week only eating foods that had already passed their expiration dates. In his Today Show interview, he talks about his experiences– what he ate, how he found his food, and most importantly, whether he ever got sick.

Casey’s work with the Huffington Post and the Reclaim campaign clearly shows a continuation of his interest in climate change and environmental sustainability, which was the focus of his Hart Fellowship.

Watch his interview here.

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