Saturday, May 16, 2009

Future of Food Part Deux

A week ago, I attended/SFBU had a table at, a Future of Food Conference at BU organized by the Insitute of Human Sciences. The conference served as a forum for professionals interested in sustainable food throughout the world, to highlight some of the current problems with our food systems, and suggest possible futures. IHS organized this conference in response to the growing concerns of local communities in the US and Europe over growing global food crisis, and what can be done to solve it, and change the future of food into something that is sustainable, and safeguards cultural and biodiversity, while providing safe, healthy food for all citizens.
The weekend started on Friday, with a Fermentation workshop with Sandor Katz, author of "Wild Fermentation" and "The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved."

He discussed all the benefits of fermenting live foods, and did a sauerkraut demonstration. I love sauerkraut, and am currently attempting to make my own. Stay tuned for updates and more about why I'm a friend of fermentation!!

After the workshop, eco-chef and food justice activist Byrant Terry spoke about his experiences with food, and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of his food! MMM!

His newest book is Soul Food, and incorporates healthy vegan alternatives to traditional southern cooking! I've never been down South, but the dishes were amazing! While listening to him speak we nibbled on spicy goobers.

[i'm never calling a peanut a peanut again. goober=love it!] [peanuts+peanut oil+paprika+cayenne powder+chili+sugar+salt] He talked about his lifelong love of cooking, and how he wants to talk about GRUB- good sustainable food for everyone. [he wrote a great book with that title with Anna Lappe]. While jazz played from his iHome, he argued that sustainable, healthy food should not be elitist, nor bourgeois, nor tasteless.

Bryant founded b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a program designed to empower youth to be active in creating a more just and sustainable food system.

For dinner he served citrus collard greens with raisins-"bright, bold and sexy" collard greens; corn bread, gumbo with rice, garlic-bean spread bruschetta and an orange chocolate pudding dessert. Delicious! I definitely recommend checking out his cookbooks!

After dinner we went to a screening of King Corn, with filmmaker Aaron Woolf. Its a great movie, which I highly recommend you see, even if its only to watch the scene where they try to make HFCS at home! AHHH!!
The morning started 9 am, and we squeezed in 5 panels before ending at 9pm. It was a long day, but lots of interesting discussions, and great presenters! Panels addressed issues ranging from food production/agribuiness, food security, food safety, climate change, and the ethics of eating. SFBU had a table we were manning, so we took turns listening to the panels. Satish Kumar gave the keynote address, and also spoke on a panel about the ethics of eating. He is an Indian who currently resides in Britain, nuclear disarmament advocate and editor of Resurgence Magazine. He is known for having accomplished a "peace walk" of over 8,000 miles, to the capitals of America, England, France and Russia, the nuclear superpowers. I really enjoyed what he had to say about food sovereignty and this is my new favorite quote:
"If you don't have enough time to bake Bread, you don't have enough time to Live."
Other guests of note were Mark Winne, author of Closing the Food Gap; Tim Wise, director of reasearch and Public Policy at Tufts Global Development and Environment Institute; Benedikt Haelin, president of Save our Seeds; Jim Harkness, President of Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of Center for Food Safety; Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of International Society for Ecology and Culture; Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and the Revolution will not be Microwaved, Harriet Lamb executive Director of Fair Trade Foundation, and Michael Ableman, farmer and author of Fields of Plenty.
I really enjoyed the fifth panel, about the Ethics of Eating, with discussion revolving around what is Good food? Norberg-Hodge, Katz, Lamb and Kumar all presented their sides of the issue, demonstrating the costs of cheap food, from health to environment. It was interesting to compare and contrast US food policy and reports with those from other places, especially in the EU. There was so much information to absorb, and the presentors were very knowledgeable and approachable! We went to a private dinner with the guests of honor, catered by Jamey Lionette, and I tried fiddleheads for the first time! Great food, in the company of great, inspiring people;what more could you ask for??
Of course there were multiple coffee breaks, and breakfast and lunch were provided-lots of things to nibble on. Also Taza Chocolate had a booth, as did Gnosis Chocolate.MMMM coffee and chocolate all day long! [Gnosis is my new favorite thing-FIND A BAR AND TRY IT!!! review coming soon!!]
Hopefully a video of the entire conference will be on the website soon! Shape YOUR future of food and eat the revolution!!!


Annabelle Ho said...

-great recap!!!
-yes, it was a very long conference!
-I love Satish Kumar's quotation.
-can't wait to hear more about your saurkraut/pickling/fermentation!
-and the Gnosis Chocolate is AMAZING!

Gina said...

I would have loved to see Bryant Terry, I love his new book!

jesslikesithot said...

Thanks for the sweet comment! Tj's blueberry ground flax is just like regular ground flax but the Trader Joe's brand has little blueberry pieces in it, so it has a little extra flavor!

And Goobers?! Haha, what a cute word......that sounds like such an interesting conference, glad you had fun!