Food Studies Institute is a small group of experienced professionals doing BIG things!
We are dedicated to helping our school and community partners develop world class food literacy education programs at home and abroad. We have over 25 years of experience and we’d love to work with your community. Contact us!
Antonia Demas, PhD
Founder and President
Antonia Demas is the author of Food is Elementary (FIE), an interdisciplinary curriculum for people of all ages. FIE is a hands-on curriculum that teaches students and their families about food, nutrition, cooking, gardening, and ecology through multicultural lesson plans integrated with the academic disciplines. Food is used as a sensory-based vehicle to teach these disciplines in a way that is fun and hands-on. FIE engages a variety of learning styles. Students who often do not perform well in the conventional academic setting excel with FIE because their creativity and special talents are given a venue to shine within the classroom. FIE has been successfully implemented in schools in the U.S., from Hawaii to Vermont as well as abroad.
Antonia believes that it is crucial that we educate children beginning at an early age about how to prevent the development of many chronic diseases and what we can do to mitigate climate change. Food Studies Institute (FSI) works with schools and communities to develop research plans to document the effect FIE has on academic performance, the health of people and the planet, and behavior. FSI’s goal is to have food literacy education in all schools so students will have access to information that will benefit individuals and the planet
Ariel Demas, MA
Ariel grew up near Ithaca, New York where she learned cooking and gardening at a young age. In elementary school, she participated in her mother Antonia’s pioneering food education lessons in the classroom and after school program. After graduating from Cornell University with a BS in Sociology, Ariel began teaching at Hampstead Hill Academy in Baltimore, Maryland where she developed an experiential food literacy education program based on the Food is Elementary curriculum. After three years of grant funding, the program became a permanent part of the school curriculum and culture and continues to thrive almost 20 years later. The program includes nutrition and multicultural cooking classes for students in Pre-K through Grade 8, after school gardening and culinary arts clubs, community dinners, international nights, school wellness activities, and more. In 2021, Ariel returned to New York to work for the Food Studies Institute. She is a licensed K-6 teacher and holds a Master’s in Education from Goddard College in addition to certificates in Montessori Education, Culinary Arts, Plant-Based Nutrition, and is a Master Gardener.