Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Age of the Pyramid Has Ended (at least in the Food World)

Have you ever tried to eat a pyramid? I did. For years, in fact. I remember one night - out of exasperation and confusion - printing out the entire USDA Nutritional Guide, for myself on my personal printer in my bedroom, in full color and then, like a complete nut taking all of the info in the pyramid and translating it into a fancy little food diary for myself.

Using nothing more than the clip art provided in Microsoft Word I made a line for each type of food (I so desperately just wanted to be back to the food groups at the time!) so that I could cross off each serving as I ate it each day. I used little chunks of cheese to represent servings of dairy, green beans for vegetables, a sprig of wheat for the grains, an apple for fruits, a cooked chicken for meats and a skull and cross-bones for the fats & sweets section. I thought I was quite clever. I even added a line with eight glasses of water to make sure I got my daily hydration.

I made these diaries (each one lasted two weeks) in order to simplify the craziness that was the pyramid. Friends and family thought it was a great idea and said I should patent it and start selling them, but I could see the writing on the wall: paper was dying, someone would make an APP for this soon enough! Alas, it doesn't matter, because it seems that the USDA has finally figured out that those of us who cared to follow these guidelines all along have been deconstructing their pyramid all along!

To me, this was the most upsetting & confusing version of the Pyramid.
The Pyramid, in all of its re-imaginations is finally being replaced! HOORAY I say! This Thursday the pyramid will be replaced with a... are you sitting down? Because this actually might make some sense, so I don't want to shock you!... The pyramid will be replaced with a dinner plate!! Can you believe it? Food on a plate? Ingenious, I say!

As you can probably tell, I am looking forward to the big reveal and I'm hoping I don't need to do any translating, reconfiguring or analyzing unless I decide to out of some geeky desire.

Expect my review of the new plate later this week, but until then I optimistically await what they will be serving up!!
What are your experiences with the Food Pyramid?
What are your hopes for USDA's new plate?

Reference/Further Reading:

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Bob's Breakfast Best: Home Fries (the Recipe)

    There are some weekends, some very, very special weekends, when my husband wakes up extra early and cooks up some delicious Home Fries. This was one of those weekends.

    He learned this tradition from his dad, who is famous for his delicious weekend morning breakfasts that bring children from afar - nieces and nephews, in-laws and the like. We all wake up nice and early and scurry over to his kitchen in the hopes that we just happen to visit at the right hour.

    When I told my husband that I wanted to take photos for a blog post of this wonderful, tasty treat he said, "That's a secret family recipe! It could be worth millions!"

    My response, "Which is exactly why it should be shared with the world!"

    He did not give me a line-by-line recipe (I think it has been too long since such a thing existed for the home fries), so I had to make do with sneaking in and out of the kitchen and asking clarifying questions. Here it goes:

    Step 1: What You'll Need

    The amounts below were enough for the two of us with leftovers (could probably serve four without a battle if you are going to use as a side dish with your favorite eggs).
    • 2 potatoes cleaned, peeled and cut into thin discs
    • 1/2 green bell pepper cut into strips
    • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into strips
    • 1 onion cut into strips
    • 2 packets of Sazon
    • salt and pepper
    • olive oil
    • water
    • 1 pot large enough to boil the potato discs in
    • 1 pan large enough for all of the ingredients 
    • a plate or two for spicing up the potatoes and your vegetables in waiting (my husband has lots of plates floating around during this process and I am not permitted to try to streamline the process)
    Step 2: Preparing the Potatoes

    The potatoes are a key element to this dish, so there is much to be done with our spuds. Once they have been sliced into discs, you should boil them for two minutes. The potato discs are then laid out on a plate to be spiced up. Sprinkle one packet of Sazon and salt and pepper all over the potatoes (one packet on each side). It is in this step where you can control the kick of your home fries (more pepper = more kick). This is what the seasoned potatoes look like:
    spicy spuds
    Step 3: Putting It All In The Pan

     First you want to saute the peppers and onions in a bit of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Once they have softened and the onions have begun to get translucent, remove them from the pan.
    cooked peppers and onions
    If necessary add more oil to the pan to ensure it is still coated, because now the potatoes are coming to the party! Lay the potatoes in the pan, cover and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until they brown. Then flip them over and add the onions and peppers on top.
    Flipping the potatoes. Notice the brown ones in the bottom left corner.
    While the second side is browning, the vegetables get to cook too!
    Cover and cook and cook for another 2-4 minutes.

    Step 4: Serve and Enjoy!

    We usually have our home fries with scrambled eggs, but you can have them with just about any other yummy breakfast protein. They are a nice spicy vegetable party in my tummy early in the morning and I love them! (Of course, the best part for me is the fact that they were made for me, but perhaps you can send this post along to a loved one as a helpful hint!!).

    Now I have to apologize for the missing grand finale picture... it's just that when my plate showed up all responsibilities to my readers was swept away by the magnificent aroma and the fork placed in my hand. I saw. I ate. They were gone. Then I thought, "Oops!" So maybe next time I will be strong of spirit and be able to share this with you!
    What's your favorite weekend breakfast meal?
    Do you know any Weekend Breakfast Dads in your family?
    How do you like your home fries?

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Friday's Food Finds

    Food Web Sites and Tools
    • Local Harvest While I know I have written about this amazing site before, I have never featured it in a Friday Food Find which it totally deserves. Local Harvest is the site I go to find local farmers markets, coops, CSAs an online vendors as well. I guess it is because it is Farmers Market season over here that I've got Local Harvest on the mind. I want everyone to have the same yummy experiences I am having here in New York!
    Food Reads
    • Sustainable or Organic ~ Which is Healthier? This is an interesting blog post from a sustainable farmer discussing the differences between these two techniques of farming. I love to read everyone's opinions on these two and their experiences with both.
    • **Antibiotics: Are They Overused in My Food? A great question and an equally great post about an issue we should all be aware of. Read this. Take action.
    • **10 Reasons to Retweet for Clean Water Here in the States we're getting ready for the unofficial start to summer fun this Memorial Day Weekend with many opening up their pools and planning other fantastic water adventures to keep cool. However, there are so many that do not have the luxury of clean water for fun or even for their own survival - take a moment to read Meg's post to find out what's going on and how easy it is to help! 
    Good Food (Recipes)
    • Homemade Powdered Sugar This is another great post from the Damsel for a quickie (no... REALLY quick) and easy technique for making powdered sugar in a pinch.
    • 10 Cook Out Hits for Memorial Day Leave it to the Huffington Post to give us 10 recipes for the price of one! Who can pass up an article like this. They look delicious, I'll have to run through the list with the hubby to which ones we'll check out first. Let me know how your selections go!
    Food FIGHTS 
    **This week our food fights are embedded in our food reads! Check out the actions you can take to get the word out to the FDA about Antibiotics in our food and how you can tweet to the world about clean water in those important reads!
     
    Do you have a food website, tool, food read, recipe or food fight you think I should check out and share with the readers of Searching for Sustenance? If so e-mail me at BlogWithNV@gmail.com!

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Recipe: Roasted Potatoes

    In our house, we love potatoes!

    While we prepare them in all different ways, this ranks as one of our top go-to recipes because of the wonderful crispy outside followed by a tender warm taste of the inside of a delicious, fresh potato. The only reason why we don't have them every time potatoes are around is that they take about 45 minutes to roast in the oven.

    Step 1: Cleaning the Potatoes

    OXO Good Grips Flexible Vegetable BrushI love cleaning potatoes (I know this is a little nutty...). My brother kept bugging me around my birthday for a gift idea and I just kept telling him, "I need a new veggie-cleaning brush and I don't feel like getting it myself." This annoyed him greatly, but he rose to the challenge and bought me the coolest-ever veggie cleaning brush by OXO. This thing is no joke and cleans my potatoes better than anything else.

    I just grab a spud, grab the brush and scrub under a little running water. It helps me scrub away the frustrations of my day! Each potato takes just a couple of seconds with my new super-brush and now I realize how clean a potato can really get!


    Step 2: Deciding How Many Potatoes You Should Use

    OK, OK... We would probably have counted our potatoes before we washed them, but I forgot about it just then! How many potatoes do you want to prepare? I've looked at lots of different recipes - some tell you how many in weight, some tell you in cups and, to be honest with you I have come to the conclusion that, at least with potatoes, I am entirely too lazy to pull out all of the equipment required for these measurements.

    Here's how I decide: I take a look at the potatoes I have and decide, how many of these each of us ("us" being the people at the dinner table) will want to eat. This is helpful for me because potatoes are all different sizes, so, for example, I may decide two potatoes for me and two for my husband, but they could be entirely different sizes, that are appropriate to our respective eating patterns and needs. Using this technique, I have never made too little or too much.

    Step 3: Prepping Potatoes & the Oven

    At this point you'll want to put the oven on at 425º to preheat. While that's going, gather up some other stuff you'll need:
    Cut each potato into close to uniform chunks (this is so they all cook at the same time). I usually shoot for one to two inch chunks.

    Place the chucks into the baking pan and pour 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes.

    Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, but be sure to save some for later to add to your liking.

    Mix the potatoes, salt, pepper and the oil with your hands (this is the best way to ensure the oil gets all over every potato and it is also so wonderful to feel your food!).

    Step 4: Cooking it Up! (and Getting on With the Rest of Your Meal)

    This is actually the easiest step of all! Place your baking dish in the oven and let her go for about 20-22 minutes. At that point you want to get in there and turn the potatoes (I use a pair of thongs for this) so that both sides get nice and crispy. Then leave them in for another 20-22 minutes. You can check to see if they are done by poking a potato with a fork making sure the inside is tender.

    When they are done, you can serve them warm with some salt and pepper and ENJOY!!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Recipe: Wilted Spinach with Red Pepper Flakes

    This is my favorite way to eat spinach.

    When I have fresh spinach it makes it ten times more delicious!

    This recipe can be made with bagged spinach, baby spinach, or full leaf - I've done them all. On this particular day, though, I prepared it with a nice full bunch from the farmers' market.

    Step 1: Cleaning the Spinach

    For me, spinach is one of the most annoying things to clean. It always needs to be cleaned, even if you have a bag that says "pre-washed" and if it is not pre-washed, it has to be washed numerous times!
    Spinach in my salad spinner!

    Jack Bishop suggests in his book, Vegetables Every Day, that you rinse the spinach in a bowl with cold water and swoosh it around with your hands. Take the spinach out, dry it off, rinse out the bowl, and repeat. You have to repeat over and over until the water in the bowl is clear.

    I used to do this. Then I got a salad spinner from IKEA for two dollars. Now I put the spinach leaves in, rinse with cold water, pour the water out, spin and repeat until the water runs clean. This saves me - I was using a ridiculous amount of paper towels before, now I use NONE!

    Step 2: Get the Rest of Your Meal Done & Gathering Ingredients

    Wilting spinach takes a short amount of time, so I makes sure it is the last thing I do usually. I'll clean it early and get my ingredients together, but then I wait until there is only about 7-10minutes left until dinnertime.

    Ingredients you need:
    • olive oil
    • clove of garlic, minced
    • crushed red pepper flakes
    • spinach, cleaned **Note: Whatever amount of spinach you make will shrink to at least a third its size in this recipe. Please consider this when you decide how much to make!**
    Step 3: Cooking it Up!

    In a pan with a cover, heat 1.5-2 tablespoons of oil with the clove of garlic and 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (for a bigger kick, just add more, but remember a little gos a long way!).

    Before the garlic browns (you should be able to smell the red pepper and garlic cooking), add all of the spinach and begin to turn it. You want all of the spinach to touch the oil. It may seem like there is not enough oil, but keep turning it, until it all the spinach has a gloss and begins to look a bit darker in color.
    Notice how dark and glossy the spinach is. It is already starting to wilt.
    When all of the spinach is covered in oil (this shouldn't take long), lower the heat and put the cover on the pan. Let it cook this way for 2-3minutes.

    Remove the lid. Stir the spinach once more. Then turn off the heat. If you are not ready to serve, put the lid back on to contain the heat until it's time to eat, otherwise - plate it up and ENJOY!
     

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    The Yields from the Farmers' Market

    Saturday was the first new farmers' market of the season here in Staten Island. I was excited. I was ready. And then, as I made my way over to the market I realized I had only $17 to celebrate with! GASP!

    Luckily there was not a lot of heart break since it was the beginning of the season and there was not a ton of selection for me to miss out on. So here's what happened:

    I got potatoes:
    Which I roasted for dinner tonight:

    Then I got spinach:
    Which I also made with dinner tonight:
    And I got three herb plants: cilantro, basil and rosemary, that I have transplanted and placed in my backyard:
    Lots of basil up front with cilantro bringing up the rear.
    My little rosemary sprigs.
    It wasn't much, that's for sure, but I have plants that will continue to produce and I made a delicious dinner for my husband, my brother and myself tonight.

    Tonight's dinner included:
    The recipes are on their way!!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    5 Things I am Looking Forward to at Tomorrow's Farmers' Market

    Earlier this week I received the fantastic news that one of the two Staten Island Farmers Markets will be open for business starting this Saturday, May 7th. While this isn't what I consider "my" Farmers Market, as I can not walk to it, it is still a reason to celebrate and it will be receiving my business until "my" Market comes back to town!

    Here's what I am looking forward to tomorrow morning at the market:
    1. Buying food in a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere, where people wear smiles, breathe the outside air and are lit by the sun.
    2. Smelling the fresh fruit as I walk by each stand in my preliminary first round walk-by before any purchases.
    3. Garlic. According to the e-mail I received, one of the garlic farmers will be there tomorrow. Last year I made the mistake of overlooking garlic at the market until its last week of availability - I have longed for it ever since.
    4. All of the unexpected goodies I will be grabbing on my trip! I have planned nothing beyond the garlic, so I am excited to see what I end up with.
    5. Talking to the farmers from the Staten Island Family Farm. I don't think they have a stand over at "my" market, so I would like to talk to them about their farming on this island and whether or not they have any tips for my small growing adventure. 
    Following all of that, I look forward to a week a delicious delights! Tune in to this blog to see what I come home with.

    If you are curious about the details of this Greenmarket, here is a copy of the e-mail I received earlier this week:

     
    The St. George Greenmarket reopens this Saturday, May 7th

    Overlooking New York Harbor and the downtown Manhattan skyline, the 
    St. George Greenmarket has a dedicated following and an excellent selection of products that have been grown and raised on regional family farms making it a one-stop shopping destination. Six vegetable growers, including the Island's very own Staten Island Family Farm, sell an array of items from Bulich Creekside Farm's mushrooms to Rabbit Run Farm's heirloom tomatoes, greens, and meat. Don't miss Fantasy Fruit Farm's juicy summer berries, Red Jacket Orchard's famous apricots and juices, breads, baked goods and granola from Not Just Rugelach, and American Seafood's fresh caught fish.

    Farmers Attending:

    American Seafood Wild caught seafood from Suffolk County, NY.
    Bulich's Creekside Farm Vegetables from Greene County, NY.
    Charlie's Garlic and Produce Vegetables and garlic from Delaware County, NY.
    Dipaola Turkey Turkey from Mercer County, NJ.
    El Mirador Farm Vegetables, Mexican specialty produce, and herbs from Monmouth County, NJ. A New Farmer Development Project Participant.
    Fantasy Fruit Farm Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and small fruits from Chenago County, NY.
    Gerardi's Farm Orchard fruit from Cumberland County, NJ.
    Not Just Ruguleh Baked goods from Hudson County, NJ.
    R & G Produce Vegetables from Orange County, NY. 
    Rabbit Run Farm Certified Organic vegetables and meats from Bucks County, PA.
    Red Jacket Orchards Apples, plums, cherries, apricots, peaches, berries from Ontario County, NY.
    Staten Island Family Farm Vegetables, Mexican specialty produce from Richmond County, New York. A New Farmer Development Project participant

    Market Information 
    St Marks Place and Hyatt St, in the parking lot next to the St George Theater
    Saturdays 8am - 2pm  May 7 - Nov 19
    EBT/Food Stamps, Debit/Credit, and WIC & FMNP checks accepted!
     

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Forget the Royal Wedding! Did You See The Royal Keynote?

    Screen capture from webcast.
    Don't get me wrong, I got swept up in the romantic royal madness last week when Prince William and Lady Catherine showed me where every Disney animator got their inspiration for their "happily ever after" princess movie endings, but, as a self-proclaimed foodie, it was yesterday's Royal Keynote that truly knocked my socks off!  

    The Washington Post and Georgetown University hosted The Future of Food Conference from about 9am to nearly 5pm yesterday where His Royal Highness Prince Charles was invited to be a keynote speaker. To be honest with you, I had little understanding as to why that should be, until, of course, I heard him speak.

    I have been trolling the Internet to find a place to direct you so you, too can see not only the keynote, but also hear and see some of the other moving talks and panels from people like Eric Schlosser, Wendell Berry, Dr. Robert Ross, and Dr. Marion Nestle, just to name a few. The one resource that seems to be available is The Washington Post Live Archive where they have a couple of brief clips of highlights [UPDATE: The Washington Post Archive now includes the FULL speech given by His Royal Highness] .

    However, I am extremely happy to say that I did find the beautiful, elegant words His Royal Highness shared.
    [UPDATE: A link to the video of the speech can be found here. I am getting a little bit of feedback on mine, but that may be a Mac vs. Microsoft issue!]
    So without any further adieu, here is the speech, in its entirety, given by the Prince of Wales as transcribed on his website:

    A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales to the Future for Food Conference, Georgetown University, Washington DC

    4th May 2011
    President de Gioia, Ladies and Gentlemen. Having such fond memories of my last visit, it is a great joy to be invited back to Georgetown to speak at this conference. It certainly makes a change from making embarrassing speeches about my eldest son during wedding receptions...!
    I’m afraid my one regret today is that I have missed the first panel discussion, chaired by Eric Schlosser, who has done so much, if I may say so, to raise awareness of the key issues in his important film and in his writing. I know that Eric has outlined why this conference is so vital. The world is gradually waking up to the fact that creating sustainable food systems will become paramount in the future because of the enormous challenges now facing food production.
    The Oxford English Dictionary defines “sustainability” as “keeping something going continuously.” And the need to “keep things going” for future generations – in other words, for all of you students and your families, whether here at Georgetown or, through the wonders of modern technology, elsewhere across this vast country – is quite frankly the reason I have made the long journey to Washington, and probably losing my voice now through jetlag!
    One or two of you may have noticed that over the past thirty years I have been venturing into extremely dangerous territory by speaking about the future of food. I have all the scars to prove it...! Questioning the conventional world view is a risky business. And the only reason I have done so is for the sake of your generation and for the integrity of Nature herself. It is your future that concerns me and that of your grandchildren, and theirs too. That is how far we should be looking ahead. I have no intention of being confronted by my grandchildren, demanding to know why on Earth we didn’t do something about the many problems that existed, when we knew what was going wrong. The threat of that question, the responsibility of it, is precisely why I have gone on challenging the assumptions of our day. And I would urge you to do the same, because we need to face up to asking whether how we produce our food is actually fit for purpose in the very challenging circumstances of the twenty-first century. We simply cannot ignore that question any longer.
    Very nearly thirty years ago I began by talking about the issue, but I realized in the end I had to go further. I had to put my concern into action, to demonstrate how else we might do things so that we secure food production for the future, but also, crucially, to take care of the Earth that sustains us. Because if we don’t do that, if we do not work within Nature’s system, then Nature will fail to be the durable, continuously sustaining force she has always been. Only by safeguarding Nature’s resilience can we hope to have a resilient form of food production and ensure food security in the long term.
    This is the challenge facing us. We have to maintain a supply of healthy food at affordable prices when there is mounting pressure on nearly every element affecting the process. In some cases we are pushing Nature’s life-support systems so far, they are struggling to cope with what we ask of them. Soils are being depleted, demand for water is growing ever more voracious and the entire system is at the mercy of an increasingly fluctuating price of oil.
    Remember that when we talk about agriculture and food production, we are talking about a complex and interrelated system and it is simply not possible to single out just one objective, like maximising production, without also ensuring that the system which delivers those increased yields meets society’s other needs. As Eric has highlighted, these should include the maintenance of public health, the safeguarding of rural employment, the protection of the environment and contributing to overall quality of life.
    So I trust that this conference will not shy away from the big questions. Chiefly, how can we create a more sustainable approach to agriculture while recognizing those wider and important social and economic parameters – an approach that is capable of feeding the world with a global population rapidly heading for nine billion? And can we do so amid so many competing demands on land, in an increasingly volatile climate and when levels of the planet’s biodiversity are under such threat or in serious decline?
    As I see it, these pressures mean we haven’t much choice in the matter. We are going to have to take some very brave steps. We will have to develop much more sustainable, or durable forms of food production because the way we have done things up to now are no longer as viable as they once appeared to be. The more I talk with people about this issue, the more I realize how vague the general picture remains of the perilous state we are in. So, just to be absolutely clear, I feel I should offer you a quick pen sketch of just some of the evidence that this is so.
    Certainly, internationally, food insecurity is a growing problem. There are also many now who consider that global food systems are well on the way to being in crisis. Yield increases for staple food crops are declining. They have dropped from three per cent in the 1960’s to one per cent today – and that is really worrying because, for the first time, that rate is less than the rate of population growth. And all of this, of course, has to be set against the ravages caused by climate change. Already yields are suffering in Africa and India where crops are failing to cope with ever-increasing temperatures and fluctuating rainfall. We all remember the failure of last year’s wheat harvest in Russia and droughts in China. They have caused the cost of food to rocket and, with it, inflation around the world, stoking social discontent in many countries, notably in the Middle East. It is a situation I fear will only become more volatile as we suffer yet more natural disasters…

    Set against these threats to yields is the ever-growing demand for food. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that the demand will rise by seventy per cent between now and 2050. The curve is quite astonishing. The world somehow has to find the means of feeding a staggering 219,000 new mouths every day. That’s about 450 since I started talking! What is more, with incomes rising in places like China and India, there will also be more people wealthy enough to consume more, so the demand for meat and dairy products may well increase yet further. And all that extra livestock will compete for feed more and more with an energy sector that has massively expanded its demand for biofuels. Here in the U.S., I am told, four out of every ten bushels of corn are now grown to fuel motor vehicles.
    This is the context we find ourselves in and it is set against the backdrop of a system heavily dependent upon fossil fuels and other forms of diminishing natural capital – mineral fertilizers and so on. Most forms of industrialized agriculture now have an umbilical dependency on oil, natural gas and other non-renewable resources. One study I have read estimates that a person today on a typical Western diet is, in effect, consuming nearly a U.S. gallon of diesel every day! And when you consider that in the past decade the cost of artificial nitrogen fertilizers has gone up fourfold and the cost of potash three times, you start to see how uncomfortable the future could become if we do not wean ourselves off our dependency. And that’s not even counting the impact of higher fuel prices on the other costs of production – transport and processing – all of which are passed on to the consumer. It is indeed a vicious circle.
    Then add the supply of land into the equation – where do we grow all of the extra plants or graze all that extra stock when urban expansion is such a pressure? Here in the United States I am told that one acre is lost to development every minute of every day – which means that since 1982 an area the size of Indiana has been built over – though that is small fry compared with what is happening in places like India where, somehow, they have to find a way of housing another three hundred million people in the next thirty years. But on top of this is the very real problem of soil erosion.
    Again, in the U.S., soil is being washed away ten times faster than the Earth can replenish it, and it is happening forty times faster in China and India. Twenty-two thousand square miles of arable land is turning into desert every year and, all told, it appears a quarter of the world’s farmland, two billion acres, is degraded.
    Given these pressures, it seems likely we will have to grow plants in more difficult terrain. But the only sustainable way to do that will be by increasing the long term fertility of the soil, because, as I say, achieving increased production using imported, non-renewable inputs is simply not sustainable.
    There are many other pressures on the way we produce our food, but I just need to highlight one more, if I may, before I move on to the possible solutions, because it is so important. It is that magical substance we have taken for granted for so long – water.

    In a country like the United States a fifth of all your grain production is dependent upon irrigation. For every pound of beef produced in the industrial system, it takes two thousand gallons of water. That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand. The Ogallala Aquifer on the Great Plains, for instance, is depleting by 1.3 trillion gallons faster than rainfall can replenish it. And when you consider that of all the water in the world, only five per cent of it is fresh and a quarter of that sits in Lake Baikal in Siberia, there is not a lot left. Of the remaining four per cent, nearly three quarters of it is used in agriculture, but thirty per cent of that water is wasted. If you set that figure against future predictions, then the picture gets even worse. By 2030 it is estimated that the world’s farmers will need forty-five per cent more water than today. And yet already, because of irrigation, many of the world’s largest rivers no longer reach the sea for part of the year – including, I am afraid, the Colorado and Rio Grande.
    Forgive me for labouring these points, but the impact of all of this has already been immense. Over a billion people – one seventh of the world’s population – are hungry and another billion suffer from what is called “hidden hunger,” which is the lack of essential vitamins and nutrients in their diets. And on the reverse side of the coin, let us not forget the other tragic fact – that over a billion people in the world are now considered overweight or obese. It is an increasingly insane picture. In one way or another, half the world finds itself on the wrong side of the food equation.
    You can see, I hope, that in a global ecosystem that is, to say the least, under stress, our apparently unbridled demands for energy, land and water puts overwhelming pressure on our food systems. I am not alone in thinking that the current model is simply not durable in the long term. It is not “keeping everything going continuously” and it is, therefore, not sustainable.

    So what is a “sustainable food production” system? We should be very clear about it, or else we will end up with the same system that we have now, but dipped in “green wash.” For me, it has to be a form of agriculture that does not exceed the carrying capacity of its local ecosystem and which recognizes that the soil is the planet’s most vital renewable resource. Top soil is the cornerstone of the prosperity of nations. It acts as a buffer against drought and as a carbon sink and it is the primary source of the health of all animals, plants and people. If we degrade it, as we are doing, then Nature’s capital will lose its innate resilience and it won’t be very long, believe you me, before our human economic capital and economic systems also begin to lose their resilience.

    Let’s, then, try and look for a moment at what very probably is not a genuinely sustainable form of agriculture – for the long term, and by that I mean generations as yet unborn. In my own view it is surely not dependent upon the use of chemical pesticides, fungicides and insecticides; nor, for that matter, upon artificial fertilizers and growth-promoters or G.M.? You would have perhaps thought it unlikely to create vast monocultures and to treat animals like machines by using industrial rearing systems. Nor would you expect it to drink the Earth dry, deplete the soil, clog streams with nutrient-rich run-off and create, out of sight and out of mind, enormous dead zones in the oceans. You would also think, wouldn’t you, that it might not lead to the destruction of whole cultures or the removal of many of the remaining small farmers around the world? Nor, presumably, would it destroy biodiversity at the same time as cultural and social diversity.

    On the contrary, genuinely sustainable farming maintains the resilience of the entire ecosystem by encouraging a rich level of biodiversity in the soil, in its water supply and in the wildlife – the birds, insects and bees that maintain the health of the whole system. Sustainable farming also recognizes the importance to the soil of planting trees; of protecting and enhancing water-catchment systems; of mitigating, rather than adding to, climate change. To do this it must be a mixed approach. One where animal waste is recycled and organic waste is composted to build the soil’s fertility. One where antibiotics are only used on animals to treat illnesses, not deployed in prophylactic doses to prevent them; and where those animals are fed on grass-based regimes as Nature intended.

    You may think this an idealized definition – that it isn’t possible in “the real world” – but if you consider this the gold standard, then for food production to become more “sustainable” it has to reduce the use of those substances that are dangerous and harmful not only to human health, but also to the health of those natural systems, such as the oceans, forests and wetlands, that provide us with the services essential to life on this planet – but which we rashly take for granted. At the same time, it has to minimize the use of non-renewable external inputs. Fertilizers that do not come from renewable sources do not enable a sustainable approach which, ultimately, comes down to giving back to Nature as much as it takes out and recognizing that there are necessary limits to what the Earth can do. Equally, it includes the need for producers to receive a reasonable price for their labours above the price of production. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leads me to the nub of what I would like you to consider.

    Having myself tried to farm as sustainably as possible for some twenty-six years in England, which is not as long as other people here I know, I certainly know of plenty of current evidence that adopting an approach which mirrors the miraculous ingenuity of Nature can produce surprisingly high yields of a wide range of vegetables, arable crops, beef, lamb and milk. And yet we are told ceaselessly that sustainable or organic agriculture cannot feed the world. I find this claim very hard to understand. Especially when you consider the findings of an impeccably well-researched International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, conducted in 2008 by the U.N. I am very pleased, by the way, to see that the co-chair of that report, Professor Hans Herren, will be taking part in the International Panel discussion towards the end of the conference. His report drew on evidence from more than 400 scientists worldwide and concluded that small-scale, family-based farming systems, adopting so-called agro-ecological approaches, were among the most productive systems in developing countries. This was a major study and a very explicit statement. And yet, for some strange reason, the conclusions of this exhaustive report seem to have vanished without trace.
    This is the heart of the problem, it seems to me – why it is that an industrialized system, deeply dependent on fossil fuels and chemical treatments, is promoted as viable, while a much less damaging one is rubbished and condemned as unfit for purpose. The reasons lie in the anomalies that exist behind the scenes.
    I would certainly urge you, first, to look at the slack in the system. Under the current, inherently unsustainable system, in the developed world we actually throw away approximately forty per cent of the food we have bought.
    Food is now much cheaper than it was and one of the unexpected consequences of this is, perhaps, that we do not value it as once we did. I cannot help feeling some of this problem could be avoided with better food education. You only have to consider the progress your First Lady, Mrs Obama, has achieved lately by launching her “Let’s Move” campaign – a wonderful initiative, if I may say so. With manufacturers making their “Healthy Weight Commitment” and pledging to cut 1.5 trillion calories a year from their products; with Walmart promising to sell products with less sugar, salt and trans-fats, and to reduce their prices on healthy items like fresh fruits and vegetables; and with the First Lady’s big drive to improve healthy eating in schools and the excellent thought of urging doctors to write out prescriptions for exercise; these are marvellous ideas that I am sure will make a major difference.

    Alas, in developing countries approximately forty per cent of food is lost between farm and market. Could that be remedied too, this time by better on-farm storage? And we should also remember that many, if not most, of the farmers in the developing world are achieving a fraction of the yields they might do if the soil was nurtured more with an eye to organic matter content and improved water management.
    However, the really big issue we need to consider is how conventional, agri-industrial techniques are able to achieve the success they do, and how we measure that success. And here I come to the aspect of food production that troubles me most.
    The well-known commentator in this country on food matters, Michael Pollan, pointed out recently that, so far, the combined market for local and organic food, both in the U.S. and Europe, has only reached around two or three per cent of total sales. And the reason, he says, is quite simple. It is the difficulty in making sustainable farming more profitable for producers and sustainable food more affordable for consumers. With so much growing concern about this, my International Sustainability Unit carried out a study into why sustainable food production systems struggle to make a profit, and how it is that intensively produced food costs less. The answer to that last question may seem obvious, but my I.S.U. study reveals a less apparent reason.
    It looked at five case studies and discovered two things: firstly, that the system of farm subsidies is geared in such a way that it favours overwhelmingly those kinds of agricultural techniques that are responsible for the many problems I have just outlined. And secondly, that the cost of that damage is not factored into the price of food production. Consider, for example, what happens when pesticides get into the water supply. At the moment, the water has to be cleaned up at enormous cost to consumer water bills; the primary polluter is not charged. Or take the emissions from the manufacture and application of nitrogen fertilizer, which are potent greenhouse gases. They, too, are not costed at source into the equation.
    This has led to a situation where farmers are better off using intensive methods and where consumers who would prefer to buy sustainably produced food are unable to do so because of the price. There are many producers and consumers who want to do the right thing but, as things stand, “doing the right thing” is penalised. And so this raises an admittedly difficult question – has the time arrived when a long, hard look is needed at the way public subsidies are generally geared? And should the recalibration of that gearing be considered so that it helps healthier approaches and “techniques”? Could there be benefits if public finance were redirected so that subsidies are linked specifically to farming practices that are more sustainable, less polluting and of wide benefit to the public interest, rather than what many environmental experts have called the curiously “perverse” economic incentive system that too frequently directs food production?
    The point, surely, is to achieve a situation where the production of healthier food is rewarded and becomes more affordable and that the Earth’s capital is not so eroded. Nobody wants food prices to go up, but if it is the case that the present low price of intensively produced food in developed countries is actually an illusion, only made possible by transferring the costs of cleaning up pollution or dealing with human health problems onto other agencies, then could correcting these anomalies result in a more beneficial arena where nobody is actually worse off in net terms? It would simply be a more honest form of accounting that may make it more desirable for producers to operate more sustainably – particularly if subsidies were redirected to benefit sustainable systems of production. It is a question worth considering, and I only ask it because my concern is simply that we seek to produce the healthiest food possible from the healthiest environment possible – for the long term – and to ensure that it is affordable for ordinary consumers.

    There are, after all, already precedents for these kinds of measures, particularly, for instance, in the way that governments around the world have stimulated the growth of the renewable energy market by the provision of market mechanisms and feed-in tariffs. Could what has been done for energy production be applied to food? Is this worth considering? After all, it could have a very powerful, transformative effect on the market for sustainably produced food, with benefits all round.
    Certainly, the U.N.’s Environment Programme inspires hope when it estimates that the “greening” of agriculture and fisheries would increase economic value per year by eleven per cent by 2050. The hugely overstretched stocks of the North East Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna is a case in point, where it is estimated that a transition to sustainable fisheries management could generate a profit of more than 500 million dollars every year, as compared to the current figure of seventy million dollars – and that is after having received 120 million dollars in subsidies. It is also worth bearing in mind that these sorts of policies which encourage more diversity, in terms of landscape, community and products, often generate all sorts of other positive results too – in tourism, forestry and industry.
    This all depends upon us deepening our understanding of the relationship between food, energy, water and economic security, and then creating policies which reward producers who base their farming systems on these principles. Simply because, if we do not consider the whole picture and take steps with the health of the whole system in mind, not only will we suffer from rising food prices, we will also see the overall resilience of our economies and, in some instances, our ecological and social systems too, becoming dangerously unstable.
    If we do take such important steps, it seems to me that we would also have to question whether it is responsible in the long-term to have most of our food coming from highly centralised processing and distribution systems. Raw materials are often sourced many thousands of miles away from where we live; meat is processed in vast factories and then transported great distances before being sold. In light of the kinds of events we have been witnessing more frequently of late, such as the horrific floods in Pakistan last year and in Australia a few months ago, it is very easy to imagine that with systems concentrated in such intense, large-scale ways, these events could quickly escalate into a global food crisis. We have to consider how we achieve food security in a world where commodity food prices will inevitably rise. So, could one way be to put more emphasis on re-localising the production and distribution of key staple foods? Wouldn’t that create the sort of buffer we will need if we are to face increasingly volatile and unpredictable world market prices?
    And remember the point I made earlier. The fact that food production is part of a wider socio-economic landscape. We have to recognize that social and economic stability is built upon valuing and supporting local communities and their traditions. Smallholder agriculture therefore has a pivotal role. Imagine if there was a global food shortage; if it became much harder to import food in today’s quantities, where do countries turn to for their staple foods? Is there not more resilience in a system where the necessary staple foods are produced locally, so that if there are shocks to the system, there won’t be panic? And what is more, not only can it be much more productive than it currently is, strengthening small farm production could be a major force in preserving the traditional knowledge and biodiversity that we lose at our peril.
    So might it be wise, given the rather difficult situation we appear to be in, that if we do look at re-gearing the way subsidies work, we include policies that focus funding on strengthening economic and environmental diversity? This diversity is at the root of building resilient economies that have the adaptive capacity to deal with the increasingly severe and frequent shocks that affect us all.
    Ladies and gentlemen, I am a historian, not an economist, but what I am hinting at here is that it is surely time to grasp one of the biggest nettles of all and re-assess what has become a fundamental aspect of our entire economic model. As far as I can see, responding to the problems we have with a “business as usual” approach towards the way in which we measure G.D.P. offers us only short-term relief. It does not promise a long-term cure. Why? Because we cannot possibly maintain the approach in the long-term if we continue to consume our planet as rapaciously as we are doing. Capitalism depends upon capital, but our capital ultimately depends upon the health of Nature’s capital. Whether we like it or not, the two are in fact inseparable.
    There are alternative ways to growing our food which, if used with new technology – things like precision irrigation, for instance – would go a very long way to resolving some of the problems we face. If they are underpinned by smarter financial ways of supporting them, they could strengthen the resilience of our agriculture, marine and energy systems. We could ensure a means of supply that is capable of withstanding the sorts of sudden fluctuations on international markets which are bound to come our way, as the price of oil goes up and the impact of our accelerating disruption of entire natural systems becomes greater.
    In essence what I am suggesting here is something very simple. We need to include in the bottom line the true costs of food production – the true financial costs and the true costs to the Earth. It is what I suppose you could call “Accounting for Sustainability,” a name I gave to a project I set up six years ago, initially to encourage businesses to expand their accounting process so that it incorporates the interconnected impact of financial, environmental and social elements on their long-term performance. What if Accounting for Sustainability was applied to the agricultural sector? This was certainly the implicit suggestion in a recent and very important study by the U.N. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, or T.E.E.B., assessed the multi-trillion dollar importance to the world’s economy of the natural world and concluded that the present system of national accounts needs to be upgraded rapidly so they include the health of natural capital, and thereby accurately reflect how the services offered by natural ecosystems are performing – let alone are paid for. Incidentally, to create a genuine market for such services – in the same way as a carbon market has been created – could conceivably make a substantial contribution to reducing poverty in the developing world.
    This is very important. If we hope to redress the market failure that will otherwise blight the lives of future generations, we have to see that there is a direct relationship between the resilience of the planet’s ecosystems and the resilience of our national economies.
    Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you have begun to see my point – and that the other universities are still with us! Essentially, we have to do more today to avert the catastrophes of tomorrow and we can only do that by re-framing the way we approach the economic problems that confront us. We have to put Nature back at the heart of the equation. If we are to make our agricultural and marine systems (and therefore our economies) resilient in the long term, then we have to design policies in every sector that bring the true costs of environmental destruction and the depletion of natural capital to the fore and support an ecosystem based approach. And we have to nurture and support the communities of smallholders and family farmers.
    I trust that these thoughts will help to fire your debates and focus your thoughts for the rest of the conference. Who knows, perhaps at the end of it, we might be able to herald a new “Washington Consensus?” Like the previous version which has so dominated economic thinking around the world, it could be a consensus that acknowledges the need for markets and the role of the private sector, but which also embraces the urgent need for a rounded approach – one that recognizes the real opportunities and trade-offs needed to build a food system that enhances and ensures the maintenance of social, economic and environmental capital.
    The new food movement could be at the heart of this Consensus, acting as an agent for truly transformational change; not just by addressing the challenges of making our food systems more sustainable and secure but also because, as far as I am concerned, agriculture – not agri-industry – holds the key to the improvement of public health, the expansion of rural employment, the enrichment of education and enhancement of quality of life.
    Critically, such a new Washington Consensus might embrace the willingness of all aspects of society – the public, private and N.G.O. sectors, large corporations and small organisations – to work together to build an economic model built upon resilience and diversity, which are the two great characteristics of your nation. Such a partnership is vital; indeed, it has never been needed more and I am tremendously inspired by recent initiatives here in the United States. You cannot help but feel hopeful when such huge corporations like Walmart back local sourcing of food and decide to stock their shelves with sustainable or organic produce. Industry is clearly listening. Everyone has to work together and we all have to recognize the principle that Mahatma Gandhi observed so incisively when he said that “we may utilize the gifts of Nature just as we choose, but in her books the debts are always equal to the credits.”
    It is, I feel, our apparent reluctance to recognize the interrelated nature of the problems and therefore the solutions, that lies at the heart of our predicament and certainly on our ability to determine the future of food. How we deal with this systemic failure in our thinking will define us as a civilisation and determine our survival. Ladies and gentlemen, let me end by reminding you of the words of one of your own founding fathers and visionaries. It was George Washington who entreated your forebears to “Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God” – and, indeed, as so often in the past, in the hands of your great country, the United States of America.

    Prince Charles has written a number of books about sustainability such as Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World (which also has a children's edition), and gardening in Garden at Highgrove and The Elements of Organic Gardening.

    I hope you have the time to check out the clips from the conference yesterday, I only wish more was made available to you. If it becomes so, I will b sure to post. For now, if you are on twitter, there is still a continuing conversation about the event going on if you search #FoF and/or #eatwell. Also, my twitter handle is @riverand and I LOVE to RT the big news in the foodie world!

    What did you think of the speech?
    Were you already aware of HRH's passion for this topic? When/how did you first learn?
    Of the speakers listed at yesterday's event, who's words would you most like to hear/read?

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    The Future of Food LIVE STREAM

    Another important discussion about food is going on right now at the Washington Post Live website. To join the live stream of The Future of Food Conference, follow this link:

    Here is the list of speakers participating in this conference:

    Speakers


    Glover Blackwell_web.jpg
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PolicyLink
    Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, founded PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity.

    Chester Gillis_web.jpg
    Dean, Georgetown College
    Chester Gillis was appointed Dean of Georgetown College in April 2009. 

    Blanck_web.jpg
    Division Chief, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Commander Heidi Michels Blanck, MS, PhD, U.S. Public Health Service, is Chief of the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch at CDC in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.

    Dan Barber_web.jpg
    Chef, Blue Hill
    In May of 2000, Dan opened Blue Hill restaurant with family members David and Laureen Barber.

    Deb_web.jpg
    Outreach Director, National Farm to School Network
    Co-Founder and Program Director of FoodCorps, Outreach Director of the National Farm to School Network, and a farmer, Ms. Eschmeyer has 15 years of farming and sustainable food system experience.

    Schlosser_web.jpg
    Author
    Eric Schlosser known for investigative journalism, is the author of the books FAST FOOD NATION,REEFER MADNESS, and CHEW ON THIS.

    Bauccio Fedele_web.jpg
    Co-founder Bon Appétit Management Company
    When Fedele Bauccio co-founded Bon Appétit Management Company, he set out to revolutionize the food service industry by bringing fresh, made-from-scratch food to the contract market.

    Fred_web.jpg
    President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
    Frederick L. Kirschenmann, a longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York.

    Gary Field_web.jpg
    Chairman, President, and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm
    Gary Hirshberg is the husband of freelance writer Meg Hirshberg and the father of three yogurt eaters.  He is Chairman, President, and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer.

    Greg Asbed_web.jpg
    Co-Founder, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
    Greg Asbed is a Co-Founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a worker-based human rights organization. 

    DeGioia_web.jpg
    President, Georgetown University
    John J. DeGioia is the 48th President of Georgetown University. 

    Laura Anderko_web.jpg
    Professor, Georgetown University
    Laura Anderko RN PhD holds the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies.

    Lucas Benitez_web.jpg
    Co-Founder, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
    Mr. Benitez is a co-founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).

    Marion Nestle_web.jpg
    Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University
    Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003.  She is also Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. 

    Taylor_web.jpg
    Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Michael R. Taylor, J.D., was named Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on Jan. 13, 2010.

    Patrick Holden_web.jpg
    Founder, The Sustainable Food Trust
    After a London upbringing Patrick Holden trained in Biodynamic farming at Emerson College in Sussex.  Patrick's 250 acre mixed hill farm near Lampeter is now the longest established organic dairy farm in Wales.

    Ron Schaich_web.jpg
    Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, Panera Bread
    Ron Shaich is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Panera Bread Company, where he previously served for over 25 years as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

    Sam Kass.jpg
    White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives
    Sam Kass serves as Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisory for Healthy Food Initiatives at the White House.

    Stephen McDonnell_web.jpg
    Founder and CEO of Applegate Farms
    Stephen McDonnell is the founder and CEO of Applegate Farms, a leading producer of organic and natural meats sold in supermarkets and natural food stores throughout the U.S.

    Susan Crockett_web.jpg
    Vice President and Senior Technology Officer for Health and Nutrition at General Mills
    Susan J. Crockett, Ph.D., R.D., FADA is Vice President and Senior Technology Officer for Health and Nutrition at General Mills where she leads the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. 

    Wendell Berry_web.jpg
    Author
    The author of more than 40 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Wendell Berry has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

    Will Allen_web.jpg
    Founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc.
    Will Allen, son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy.

    Prince Charles_web.jpg
    The Prince of Wales is the Heir to the British Throne. He is a lifelong environmentalist, one of the world's foremost charitable entrepreneurs and an organic farmer. Among the many environmental initiatives set up by His Royal Highness is the International Sustainability Unit, which was established in 2010 to facilitate consensus on how to resolve some of the key environmental challenges facing the world, specifically those to do with food security, ecosystem resilience and the depletion of Natural Capital.

    Jon Tester_web.jpg
    D-Montana
    A third-generation farmer, Jon Tester currently serves as United States Senator from Montana. He and his wife Sharla still farm 1,800 acres in north central Montana.

    Jordan Thumbnail
    Moderator
    Mary Jordan, editor of Washington Post Live, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent who has written from 40 countries.

    shiva_web.jpg
    Director, Navdanya
    Dr. Vandana Shiva is trained as a Physicist and did her Ph.D. on the subject “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory” from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.  She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.

    Jane Black_web.jpg
    Food Writer
    Jane Black is a food writer who covers food policy, trends and sustainability issues. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, where she was a staff writer, the New York Times, Slate, New York magazine and other publications. She also hosts a podcast, Smart Food, on Edible Radio. Jane is a fellow of the IATP Food and Community program, which recognizes and supports food-reform advocates, thought leaders, writers and entrepreneurs.

    Robert Ross_web.jpg
    President, California Endowment
    Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in September 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993.

    Dennis Belcastro_web.jpg
    Executive Vice President, Industry Affairs & Collaboration, Grocery Manufacturers Association
    Dennis  J. Belcastro is executive vice president, industry affairs and collaboration, at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), where he is responsible for GMA’s strategic industry collaboration platforms and key initiatives serving the Association’s membership.

    Hans Herren_web.jpg
    President and CEO, Millennium Institute USA
    Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren is a leader in holistic, integrated and sustainable development.

    Tim Beach_web.jpg
    Professor, Georgetown University
    Tim Beach holds the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environment and International Affairs and is Professor of Geography and Geoscience at Georgetown University.

    JoeYo_web.jpg
    Food Editor, The Washington Post

    And here is the AGENDA:

    Agenda

    9:00 a.m.   Welcome remarks by Chester Gillis, Dean, Georgetown University;  Remarks by The Washington Post
    9:05 a.m.  Panel I: Impact on Ordinary People
    Opening remarks by Eric Schlosser, Author
    Will Allen, Founder and CEO, Growing Power
    Greg Asbed / Lucas Benitez, Co-Founders, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
    Cmdr. Heidi Blanck, Division Chief, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
    Ronald M. Shaich, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, Panera Bread
    Moderator: Mary Jordan, Editor, Washington Post Live
    10:25 a.m.   John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University
    10:30 a.m.  Keynote Address by The Prince of Wales
    11:00 a.m.  Break
    11:30 a.m.  Panel II: Future of Agriculture
    Opening remarks by Wendell Berry, Poet and Farmer
    Fedele Bauccio, Chief Executive, Bon Appétit Management Company
    Dennis Belcastro, Executive Vice President, Industry Affairs & Collaboration, Grocery Manufacturers Association
    Fred Kirschenmann, President, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
    Wes Jackson, President, The Land Institute
    Stephen McDonnell, CEO, Applegate Farms
    Moderator: Jane Black, Food Writer
    12:45 p.m.  Lunch
    Dan Barber, Chef and Owner, Blue Hill Restaurant
    Sam Kass, White House Chef
    Moderator: Joe Yonan, Food and Travel Editor, The Washington Post 
    2:15 p.m. Panel III: Health and Nutrition

    Opening remarks by Robert K. Ross, President, California Endowment
    Susan Crockett, Vice President, Senior Technology Officer, Health and Nutrition, General Mills
    Debra Eschmeyer, Outreach Director, National Farm to School Network
    Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, New York University
    Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food, FDA
    Moderator: Mary Jordan, Editor, Washington Post Live
    3:15 p.m.  Panel IV: Future of International Food
    Opening remarks by Patrick Holden, Director, Sustainable Food Trust
    Tim Beach, Professor of Environmental and International Affairs, Georgetown University
    Hans Herren, Chair, IAASTD
    Gary Hirshberg, CEO, Stonyfield Farms
    Vandana Shiva, Director, Navdanya
    Moderator: Laura Anderko, Professor, Georgetown University
    4:15 p.m.  Closing Remarks by U.S. Senator Jon Tester

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