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The Swette Center supports transdisciplinary research that is solutions- and impact-oriented. It is a hub for faculty members engaged in food systems research, as well as a source of research opportunities for students passionate about working on food system transformation.

The Swette Center is a part of the Global Futures Laboratory, an initiative committed to use-inspired research and service to the global community in which we live. Research at ASU is rooted in innovation, service, and impact, reflected in ASU’s ranking from the National Science Foundation as the top university for transdisciplinary research.

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Featured Research Projects

True Cost Accounting

cows in fieldThe price of a fast-food burger does not reflect the cost to society, the environment, and human health. True cost accounting is an innovative and evolving method for determining the true costs, and benefits, of different types of food production systems. This new way of accounting will help to develop practical policy solutions for agricultural practices, and help move us to a more sustainable food system.

The Swette Center, in partnership with Colorado State University, is exploring the true cost of beef livestock production in Arizona and Colorado. This research will contribute to the methodological refinements of True Cost Accounting practices globally. This project is supported by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food.

Digitalization and Regional Food Systems

In partnership with the TMG Think Tank for Sustainability, a Berlin-based organization, the Swette Center is investigating the role of digitalization in local and regional food systems. This research focuses on the nexus of digitalization, local communities, and food systems.

The Future of Organic Agriculture

It has been 30 years since the USDA organic label became law. Since then, we’ve seen the organic sector grow into a multibillion dollar industry, and organic farms thrive in every corner of the United States. What does the next 30 years hold for organic? The Swette Center, in partnership with the Organic Trade Association, is exploring that question and more through stakeholder interviews, policy analysis, and facilitated ideation.

Seed grants

The Swette Center awards small grants, on a competitive basis, to spark new faculty research and collaborations. On an annual basis, the Swette Center issues a request for proposals for which all Swette Center affiliated faculty are eligible to compete. In addition to financial support, awardees receive Swette Center administrative support and guidance from the Center’s leadership team. Check our News page for the most up to date information about these grants.

To become an affiliated faculty of the Swette Center email Director of Strategic Initiatives, Suzanne Palmieri