Valerie Lam

Valerie Lam

  • Major: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health 
  • Minor:  Informatics 
  • Year at UW: Senior 
  • Hometown: Hong Kong 

Tell us about your background and why you chose UW? 

I was born and raised in Hong Kong; a city rich in diversity. I chose to come to the United States for my education—particularly the UW—because the UW School of Public Health (SPH) is highly ranked as one of the best schools for public health in the country. 

What influenced you to major in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health? 

My passion for food has remained unchanged since I was young! Exploring various great restaurants has become one of my favorite hobbies. Instilled with this passion, I aim to delve deeper into the study of nutrition and health. By doing so, I not only look to learn about different food combinations but also strive to adopt a healthier eating lifestyle. 

What has been the most compelling thing you’ve learned so far in the program? 

What I’ve learned in the program is how we could improve the current food system using a multi-faceted approach to making food fair to people around the world.  The current state of the food system presents a pervasive problem of food inequality, where access to nutritious food varies significantly across different populations, often due to socio-economic disparities. Additionally, unsustainable agricultural practices and widespread food waste contribute to environmental degradation and worsen food insecurity. To address food inequality requires comprehensive action that considers social, economic, and environmental factors, inspiring me to advocate for change and seek solutions that prioritize fairness and justice in the food system. This approach could not only improve access to healthy food but also improve underlying systemic barriers such as poverty and lack of education, while promoting sustainable farming practices and reducing waste. 

How do you envision applying what you’ve learned in the program after graduation? 

I hope to use my skills in a professional career path by contributing to ensuring public access to food and nutrition benefits, providing food benefits to low-income households, ultimately reduce health disparity in our community. 

What do you like to do for fun? 

Late night drives! 

Share a fun fact about yourself. 

I can cook very well. 

What are your future goals? 

Work in food tech (e.g. Impossible foods), improve healthcare access in the nutrition sector, or food safety (QA) 

What do you enjoy most about living in Seattle? 

Summer kayaking and fresh seafood. 

What advice would you give someone considering the Food Systems major? 

Don’t hesitate and join the Food Systems major if you’re passionate about addressing global food challenges and want to explore sustainable solutions from farm to table! 

Interested in food, nutrition, or health as an undergraduate? Explore the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major or Nutrition Minor.