Natalie Rachel Morris is a food systems professor, food and culture scholar, former WK Kellogg fellow, and trained culinarian. She is the founder of the award-winning farm and food directory Good Food Finder and oversees the Prepped program at Arizona State University. Throughout her industry experience, she has worked in the areas of nutrition, food service and hospitality, school food systems, and in film and food writing. Her most recent work has led her to small business advocacy where she hones her skills in teaching, event production, and marketing. She enjoys traveling and writing about food history and has recently written her own book Beans: A Global History (Reaktion Books: UK, University of Chicago Press: USA 2020).


Biography

Natalie Rachel Morris is a classically-trained culinarian with a Masters of Arts in Food Culture and Communications and a professional background in entrepreneurship and academia.

Upon graduation, she received an honorary WK Kellogg Fellowship on behalf of the Borderlands Sustainable Food Systems program at the University of Arizona and established Good Food Finder. The state's only online directory featuring exclusively small-scale farmers and food producers, it is intended to simultaneously promote and economically sustain their businesses as well as capture Arizona’s agricultural and artisanal diversity. The project, which is now an initiative of Local First Arizona, currently boasts nearly 1000 producers and 4500 food items.

In 2011, Natalie combined her passion for food advocacy with storytelling and community connection. While working at Wicked Delicate Films for the creators of the documentary King Corn (PBS Independent Lens, 2008) and founders of FoodCorps, she organized the inaugural launch of the film-inspired national fleet of 20+ Truck Farms and corresponding annual school garden contest, managed press for the South by Southwest film The City Dark, and researched for Jennifer 8 Lee's short documentary, The Search for General Tso.

Since 2013, Natalie has been a professor of the core classes in the Sustainable Food Systems program at Mesa Community College, teaching a range of courses from Food and Culture to Organic Foods Production to Sustainable Cooking. She serves on the board for Slow Food Phoenix, the Arizona Wine Grower’s Association, and is a proud member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society. Her writings have been featured in popular publications such as Edible Phoenix and Gastronomica, and as conservation success stories for the annual Chef's Collaborative conference. She often coordinates events or leads discussions on food and place and food systems. Her education and interests in food’s role in shaping our history and culture have taken her to Belgium, France, Greece, across Italy, Spain and into Morocco. She is an invited member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International and lives in the southwestern United States with her husband where she coordinates Arizona State University’s Prepped program and is finalizing her book Beans: A Global History as a part of the Edible Series (Reaktion Books: UK and University of Chicago Press: USA 2020).