Nina Mukerjee Furstenau focuses primarily on food story, its history and ties to not only culture and religion but to identity. She delves into issues of food security, food systems, and agricultural policy. In her working life, she is Program Director of Food Systems Communications at the MU Science and Agricultural Journalism Program. She established the Food and Wine Track for undergraduate Science and Agricultural Journalism and Journalism students, and is adjunct faculty at the MU School of Journalism. Since 2014, she has served as Socio-Economic Research Project Manager for the Ag2Africa/Soybean Innovation Lab protein project funded by US AID in Mozambique and Ghana.
Furstenau is author of Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland, a culinary memoir which received the 2014 MKF Fisher Book Award and the Grand Prize for creative non-fiction on food and culture writing from Les Dames d’Escoffier International. It surprised the heck out of her when it was reviewed in the NY Times Sunday Book Review. Her first book, Savor Missouri: River Hills Country Food and Wine, about the flavors of Missouri food and the people who produce them, was published in 2013. She has authored a column, A Spiced Life, for the Columbia Tribune, and written for publications such as Ploughshares, Feast, and Missouri Life.
Furstenau graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 1984, was in Peace Corps Tunisia from 1984-86 where her interest in cultural food story began, and was co-owner and publisher of two industrial equipment and one environmental magazine from 1987-2001, before doing her graduate work at the University of Missouri in English-Creative Writing and beginning to teach.
Nina is from northern India, grew up in southern Kansas, and now lives on a farm in central Missouri. Alas, she has never lived where Mapquest works well. This comfort denied, she turns happily to food story.