New Orleans is known for its delicious cuisines, side-of-the-road fruit stands and weekly farmers markets, and this month’s student activist, Susannah Albert-Chandhok, a senior from Lusher Charter High School, has dedicated her volunteerism to the Crescent City Farmers Market and nutritional study.
“This was the perfect opportunity for me to immerse myself within the local and organic food culture,” says native New Orleanian Albert-Chandhok. She brought in her passion of writing and her love of food to showcase the vendors at the Crescent City Farmers Market. During her volunteer hours, she interviewed the vendors as to why and what they sell at the market.
Belonging to a community is a strong link to her student activism. “A community gives personal connection and support to its members,” she says. “Having active and involved members gives a community a personality and identity.” Her junior research paper, which centered on the commercialization of food, gave her a strong opinion on the positive influence of local food markets that strengthen the community’s economy.
“In terms of my food interest specifically, New Orleans has given me a real passion to delve into the multiple aspects of the culinary tradition,” she says.
Last semester, Albert-Chandhok took two courses at Tulane University – Sociology of the Media and Cultural Anthropology – and this semester she’s taking Introduction to Jewish Civilization and Human Origins. Her senior project is a thesis seminar; her project will focus on creating multi-disciplinary food units across the lower, middle and high school grade levels. “I am developing food units that not only can help accomplish subject-related goals, but also form a healthy relationship with culinary traditions and nutrition,” she says.
She believes that young students are the most susceptible to creating bad eating habits, but that they’re able to change those habits and carry them into adulthood. With children’s time mostly consumed in a school area – 10 hours a day, 10 months a year – she believes positive eating habits need to be taught at school.
Albert-Chandhok is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Lusher Post Diluvian and during her sophomore year she founded Lusher’s Culinary Club. She is also currently the president of Lusher’s National Honor Society and plays soccer as a defender during the winter. She enjoys reading the newspaper and historical literature, and hopes to be a food anthropologist or food critic. Last year, Albert-Chandhok won the Tom Bell Silver Scribe Grand Award in their journalism competition at Loyola University.