Summer Standouts: Camila Silva Monroe

Chemical and Bioengineering major focuses on nutrition

Camila Silva Monroe
Camila Silva Monroe spent her summer working at the City of Denver working on global food production issues.

While the rest of us may only have thought about food as it related to our next meal this summer, Colorado State University student Camila Silva Monroe considered food on a much larger scale.

This summer, she interned with the City of Denver in the Department of Public Health and Environment and grappled with global food production issues.

Monroe is pursuing a Chemical and Bioengineering major with a minor in Food Science and Safety through the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering and a minor in Technical and Science Communication through the College of Liberal Arts. She also participates as an international student in the Office of International Programs.

During her internship, the aspiring food engineer researched the viability of a program called the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) for the City of Denver. The GFPP analyzes food purchasing by institutions to ensure they buy food from vendors and farmers that value five principles: animal welfare, local economies, nutrition, value and safety of their workforce, and environmental sustainability.

Through this internship, Monroe spoke with major players in the Colorado food system to investigate and better understand their motivation to buy what they currently buy. She also looked at what will need to happen for them to shift toward the GFPP values in their food purchasing instead.

The complexity of food systems

Monroe learned a lot about the complexity of our food systems and saw ways to apply it to food production and waste management issues in Brazil, her home country. Brazil is one of the biggest produce exporters in the world and struggles with complex issues related to that industry. She now understands that the key to improving food production and waste management in Brazil is to educate the general population on ways to grow sustainable, affordable food that don’t require huge resources like water or land.

As she nears the end of this internship, Monroe reflected on lessons of balancing sustainability and profitability that she learned over the summer. For anyone who worries about making sustainable lifestyle choices in their own lives, Monroe said, “It is not a small group doing everything perfectly that will change the world, but a large group doing little things every day.”

“It is not a small group doing everything perfectly that will change the world, but a large group doing little things every day.”

— Camila Silva Monroe

Monroe is already looking ahead beyond her summer experience. She’s excited to return to CSU and help with the Colorado Food Summit, which aims to establish connections among statewide food system players and spread information about produce grown or wanted in Colorado.

In addition, Monroe also is planning a December wedding and preparing to be a presidential ambassador, a teaching assistant for a Principles of Genetics class, and president of the newly-established Algae Club at CSU in the Fall.

“I’m thrilled for Fall 2019 at CSU as this [will be] my most active [semester] yet,” she said.

About Summertime Standouts

Summertime Standouts is an annual feature on SOURCE that highlights students who made an impact this summer around the globe, across the country, and even close to home.

Check out more Summertime Standouts at source.colostate.edu/summertime-standouts-2019.