After Mike Garcia finished his undergraduate work, he went to work in New York City where he worked as an advertising and branding consultant for four years. By day, he had clients from the fast food industry. By night, he volunteered for the Food Systems Network NYC (FSNYC), where his passion for public health was fueled. FSNYC, which closed its doors in 2014, pursued means for the city to improve its food supply and the general health of the population. Mike became acutely aware of the policy barriers to food sovereignty in the United States. “I want to see us break out of the industrial food model to realize foods that people won’t get sick from.”
At Yale, Mike is a YSPH senator for the Graduate and Professional School Senate, and he is involved in planning the 2015 Food Symposium which will be hosted by a coalition of students from the schools of public health, forestry and law.
His lifelong interest in food stems from his Italian mother’s table, where everything was homemade and tomato sauce never came from a jar. His father’s Peruvian relatives also offered a rich and robust food culture, says Mike. While he considered entering culinary school, he wants to make systemic change to food policy since food and nutrition influence all aspects of health.