Monday, June 15, 2015

Albany Dish Goes on the Road to "Slow Living Summit: Food, Mindfully"

This week in Brattleboro the Strolling of the Heifers has given life to a Slow Living summit of a 175 or so people who are interested in many issues surrounding food.  The brief list below gives a sense of the talk contents.  The summit format was a chance to have an intense immersive couple of days talking with like-minded food producers, chefs, sustainability gurus and community/foodie activists.

Turning the Tide; Healthy Food for All?
Alisa Gravitz
CEO of Green America
Alisa, an economist and sustainability wonk, says the good news is that we can grow enough organic food to feed everyone.  Studies show again and again that organic farming yields are just as high as factory farming yields.

Food for Mind, Body and Soul
Dr. Michael Finkelstein

Think about what you're eating and feed yourself what you really need. You can unpack that for two hours.

Food Policy: Can We Talk?
Shouldn't we be discussing a food system revolution?
Rob Michalak

Global Director Social Mission, Ben & Jerry's

Well heck yeah.

Land, Legacy, and Leadership: A food entrepreneur's journey
Allison Hooper
Co-Founder, Vermont Creamery

The food business can be a great adventure and take  you places you never suspected you'd go.

The Emergent Agriculture: A new paradigm for the sustainable future of food
Gary Kleppel, Professor, Farmer and Author

Dr. Kleppel provided a close up look at basic techniques that build biodiversity and sequester carbon.

Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
Laura Lengnick, Professor Environmental Studies and Sustainable Agriculture
[Organic Agriculture BABE]

Laura's talk title is the title of her latest book, which I highly recommend. She tells the stories of award-wining farmers who are developing techniques to spring back after disasters and mitigate weather extremes along with innovating for transformation.  I have a crush on her.

Seed Libraries and Other Seed Sharing Initiatives
Cindy Conner, extraordinary gardener, teacher and author

Cindy gave us all a very comprehensive overview of seed library services and how to get a seed library started. I want to start one!!! Anybody with me?

Brattleboro Coop - lunch!  The Coop was just across the river from our conference so we made the most of their convenient food bar - a fantastic spread of wholesome delicious foods.

Food as Medicine or An Herbalist's Approach to Food
Betzy Bancroft Celest Longacre, Cheryl Wilfong

"Start with your spice cabinet" was Betzy's advice to those who wish to discover useful everyday herbal remedies for common ailments.

The 2015 Summit was one of the most hopeful meetings I've attended where people acknowledged climate change but have refused to believe that there is no way to address the changes we face. With our food policy being affected by knowledgable professionals like these I am encouraged.  But there is still plenty to do in order to assure food justice, resilient agriculture and appropriate policy to make sure we have the best possible food systems in place for the coming century.

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