Sarah K. Khan is the Director and Founder of the Tasting Cultures Foundation, Inc. TCF develops diverse educational programming about the intersection of food and culture. A main focus of TCF is “The Arts of Foodways,” traveling exhibits that highlight artists’ connection to food. By looking at the world through the lens of food, TCF engages communities about the array of issues related to food, culture, art, healing, ritual, medicine, cuisine, agriculture, biocultural diversity, migration of people and plants, and climate. A recent multimedia program, “The Arts of Latino Foodways,” highlights over 30 artists from Latin America and the United States who explore food and culture in diverse media. Educational programming around the exhibit included a performance by Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, The Comedy Cooking Show con Karimi and Comrades, and art classes over a four-month period.
Born in Pakistan and raised on the East Coast, Sarah K. Khan received her BA from Smith College majoring in History with a concentration in the Middle East and Arabic. She received two Masters degrees: Public Health and Human Clinical Nutrition both at Columbia University. It was during her six months of fieldwork among the Bedouin of the Negev desert that she began to learn about Bedouin food culture, herbal, and healing traditions. Sarah received a Ph.D in Ethnobotany from CUNY with a specialization in South Asian and Asian Healing systems, specifically Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Before establishing TCF, she was an Assistant Scientist at UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Family Medicine/Integrative Medicine program where she developed clinical research interventions that addressed obesity from a multidisciplinary perspective incorporating healthy culinary, mindfulness and movement practices for diverse communities.
Her grants for fieldwork in the Middle East, India, and China include: The Excellence in Nutrition Fellowship from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University for research in the Negev (1995); a J. William Fulbright Fellowship for pre-doctoral dissertation research in India (2001); three Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens — Botany In Action grants for fieldwork in India and China (2003-06); The Council of the American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC-Smithsonian) Multi-Country Fellowship Program for research in India (2003); and a Center for Whole Communities Fellowhship at Knoll Farm in Fayston, VT (2007) where race and environmental issues are explored. Her professional service includes: Food and culture consultant to the Community Advisory Committee for the Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas Program, a multi-institutional arts festival and conference in 2009 in New York City (2007-09); member, Board of Advisors of the Natural Gourmet Institute of Food and Culinary Arts (2003-present); Council Member-at-Large of the Society of Economic Botany (2008-11); Fellow at the Dana Meadows Fellows Program in Sustainability (2009-10); and Chair of Affinity/Special Interest Committee, Board member, Alumnae Association of Smith College (2010-13).