Talking sustainability with Nell Newman

by Jenn Summers ’13, Contributing Writer

Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman’s Own Organics, met Thursday evening at the Shi Center for Sustainability with a group of about 15 students to discuss topics ranging from nutrition to marketing and politics.

Newman was the keynote speaker at Upstate Forever’s ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon Thursday afternoon in downtown Greenville. The sustainable agriculture activist then came to Furman to mingle with students and share her story. Afterwards, a smaller group of students had dinner with Newman at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, a local organic food hub.

Newman’s Own Organics, largely a producer of organic snack foods, is a smaller subsidiary of Newman’s Own brand, which is owned by Nell’s father, actor Paul Newman. Nell travels the world educating manufacturers and students alike on the benefits of organic products.

During her meeting with Furman students, Newman shared her story of growing up in rural Connecticut and being ardently opposed to the use of DDT. This passion led to her interest in organic farming. When prompted about what she hoped most to see from young people interested in sustainable agriculture, she said she encouraged the pursuit of new avenues of innovation in sustainability.

Senior Claire Campbell, who attended the event, said, “It was a really important discussion and I really enjoyed the emphasis on the success of organic products. It was inspiring to talk about the responsibility for future generations to carry the torch for sustainable agriculture and organic products.”

To learn more, visit the Shi Center and Upstate Forever websites.

Nell Newman (center, in blue) met with Furman students at the Shi Center for Sustainability.