Susan Andreatta


Dr. Susan Andreatta is an applied sociocultural anthropologist who works in environmental and medical anthropology with a theoretical orientation founded on political ecology and economy. She is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s Department of Anthropology. Dr. Andreatta’s work centers on human and political ecology as they relate to small-scale agricultural producers[1] . She is also the founder of Project Green Leaf, an organization connecting farmers with their local communities and involving university faculty, staff, and students in the process. She works alongside farmers in resource management, marketing and environmental change. She has worked in areas of the world such as Antigua, St. Vincent. Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Costa Rica, Uganda, China, and the Southeastern region of the United States[2].

Research and Work

Dr. Susan Andreatta
Dr. Andreatta brings an anthropological perspective of political ecology and economy to the food system, and promotes nutrition, health, and food justice. She has contributed to medical anthropology by establishing and advocating for the production and vending of local, nutritious, healthful, organic foods. She has also worked with community health workers and raised awareness on how industrialization is affecting the health and prosperity of rural families. She is an expert at connecting farmers with local communities and applies anthropology and cultural knowledge to promote the exchange of healthful foods and to foster local environmental and economic conditions. Through farmers’ market promotion and food justice advocacy, Dr. Andreatta also helps preserve communities’ cultural heritage by helping farmers sustain their markets to support their historical ways of life as they compete in the global agri- enterprise[3].

Dr. Andreatta developed an agricultural outreach program-Project Green Leaf-in 2001. Housed at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Project Green Leaf links the local community, the university, and farmers to promote local gardening and marketing. These programs also involve migrant workers and urban communities wishing to connect with locally grown produce[4] . Dr. Andreatta’s community supported farm
project green leaf.jpg
Project Green Leaf, Founded by Dr. Susan Andreatta
work has now expanded to include marine fisheries working with fishermen in Carteret County, North Carolina. Here, she developed the first ever Community Supported Fisheries Project. Her social marketing strategy in Community Supported Agriculture for helping build sustainable local farmers’ markets and fisheries has now become internationally recognized and imitated[5].

Her current research is on the “Political Ecology of the Organic Agriculture and Food System in North Carolina”, and “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) among North Carolina’s Organic Food Sector"[6] . The first project focuses on policy and ecology dynamics around the production and selling of organic foods in the agricultural food system in the state of North Carolina. Dr. Andreatta works together with farmers to understand and navigate the political process that impacts the local growing and selling of foods. The community supported agricultural project is based on a niche marketing concept [7] . Farmers’ market customers buy a subscription, which is called a “share”, from a local farmer, and farmers deliver an assortment of produce each week to the customer. This community supported agricultural system creates a stable income base for farmers and allows the consumers to ask questions about how they produce what was grown. Andreatta helps facilitate a consumer-grower relationships throughout the state of North Carolina through project Greenleaf by connecting farmers with their customers, and heightening awareness about farming, farmers' markets and community gardening[8].

Dr. Andreatta examines small-family farms, rural farming communities, and their response to and how they are affected by the expansion of agribusiness and the globalization of agriculture. Additionally, Andreatta has conducted preliminary research on the “Sedinization of Hispanic Migrant Workers in North Carolina and Community Formation"[9] . Here, she focuses on understanding a recent dependence on Latino migrant farm workers in an area of North Carolina where tobacco has been long harvested. She brings an anthropological perspective of political ecology and economy to the food system, and promotes nutrition, health, and food justice[10].

Dr. Andreatta also focuses on collaborative work in healthcare between health practitioners and anthropologists. She helps organize a program for students at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in both the nursing and anthropology program to travel to China to for a study abroad program[11] . Andreatta travels with students to Beijing, Wuhan, and Shanghai to help foster their professional and academic development.


Dr. Susan Andreatta received her PhD in anthropology from Michigan State University in 1994. Her passion for farmers’ markets and supporting the local food system comes from enjoying home-grown foods as a child. She frequented old farmers’ markets with her parents in upstate New York, and always enjoyed the culture of farmers' markets as well as the foods. Her childhood experiences in this communal market environment along with her understanding of the political challenges that farmers face today in the production and selling of fresh, local foods inspired the work she does today.

Currently, Dr. Andreatta is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is also the director of Project Greenleaf, connecting farmers to their local communities and involving university faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Andreatta was the president for the Society of Applied Anthropology from 2007-2009. Under her leadership, the Society for Applied Anthropology made a formalized decision about anthropologists' involvement in the human terrain system, given anthropologists' controversial ethnographic endeavors working with intelligence and militaristic entities[12] .

In 2011, she received the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Founders award for her leadership on sustaining the campus gardens . This award is not given on a yearly basis and is described as a "hall of fame" type of award[13] . Andreatta was said to have sustained an "oasis" on campus.

Dr. Andreatta recently served on the American Anthropological Association’s Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference as a Governing Council Representative in 2012. Besides conducting research, teaching, and serving in the field of anthropology, Dr. Andreatta has written a few books on how to apply anthropological methods and theory in the field. For a listing of her books, as well as a selection of scholarly articles written by Dr. Andreatta, please see the publications list below.

Major Publications

Dr. Andreatta has published several significant papers in scholarly journals and has also written several books. See the list below on some of her major literary works.


Gary P. Ferraro and Susan Andreatta
2011 Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Belmont, California.

Gary P. Ferraro and Susan Andreatta
2013 Elements of Culture: An Applied Perspective. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Belmont, Califronia.

Scholarly Articles

Hu, Jie, Andreatta, Susan and Liping Yu
2010 A collaborative international community health nursing clinical experience in China. Home Health Care Management & Practice (7) 499-506.

Andreatta, Susan and Anne Parlier
2010 "The Political Ecology of Small-Scale Commercial Fishermen in Carteret County, North Carolina." Human Organization. 69(2):180-191.

Andreatta, Susan, Misty Rhyne, Nicole Dery
2008 "Lessons Learned from Advocating CSAs for Low-Income and Food Insecure Households. In Southern Rural Sociology. 23(1)1:-33.

Andreatta, Susan
2006 "When a Good Project Goes Awry: Community Re-Connecting with an Urban Farm." Urban Anthropology. 35(1):75-104.

Andreatta, Susan
2003 "Urban Connections to Locally Grown Produce: Trends in the USA." Urban Place: Reconnections with the Natural World. Edited by Peggy Barlett. Emory University.

Andreatta, Susan and William Wickliffe II
2002 "Managing Farmer and Consumer Expectations: A Study of a North Carolina Farmers Market." Human Organization 61(2):167-176.

Dale, Jack and Andreatta, Susan
2001 "Language and Community Building: The Migrant Farmworker Experience in North Carolina." Proceedings of the Southern Anthropological Society.

Andreatta, Susan
2000 "Marketing Strategies and Challenges of Small-Scale Organic Producers in Central North Carolina." Culture and Agriculture. 22(3):40-50.

Andreatta Susan
1998 "Transformation of the Agro-food Sector: Lessons from the Caribbean." Human Organization. 57(4):414-429.

Andreatta, Susan
1998 "Agrochemical Exposure and Farmworker Health in the Caribbean: A Local/Global Perspective." Human Organization. 57(3):350-358.

Andreatta, Susan
1997 "Bananas: Are they the Quintessential Health Food? A Global and Local Perspective." Human Organization. 56(4)437-449.

Online Resources

For more information on how Dr. Andreatta’s work is connecting anthropology and the conservation of culture with health and well-being through community supported farming and is inspiring others to imitate this model, check out the following websites:

Project Green Leaf

Further Reading


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^