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food connections conference

Posted: April 3 2012

At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor ME, April 20-22.

What happens to food between farm and fork? While many people today are looking into food production and healthy eating, the extensive intermediary stages—of food packaging, processing,distribution, sales, consumption, and waste—are seldom investigated. From April 20 through 22, College of the Atlantic will be hosting a sustainable foods conference, “Food Connections: Reconnecting Hands, Mouth & Mind through Food Systems Education.” The conference will feature discussions on what people need to know to transform food systems, and how these subjects can best be learned.
“While many colleges and universities have farms where students can learn about food production,” says Molly Anderson, PhD, COA’s Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems, “learning about the rest of the food system is still fragmented and not integrated with surrounding farms or the community where higher education occurs.”
Keynote speakers are Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of Food First/Institute for Food & Development Policy and Gary Paul Nabhan, author and research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center. Discussion leaders will include those who are forging paths in new distribution methods, policies that favor small organic farms, ways of getting more sustainable food to campuses, cultural connections with foodways, and advocacy for food justice and sovereignty.
Holt-Giménez, PhD, is the editor of the 2011 Food First book, “Food Movements Unite! Strategies to transform our food systems,” and “Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture,” among other volumes. Nabhan is a nature writer, seed saver, conservation biologist and sustainable agriculture activist. A MacArthur Fellow, Nabhan has been called “the father of the local food movement” by Mother Earth News. His most recent book is “Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands.”
The conference will be based on the COA campus, but will include field trips to local farms, including the college’s organic Beech Hill Farm and its new Peggy Rockefeller Farms, local fishery operations, and Acadia National Park. In addition to COA, sponsors of Reconnecting Hands, Mouth & Mind through Food Systems Education are The Organic Research Centre at Elm Farm, the University of Kassel, and the Trans-Atlantic Partnership, with generous funding from the Partridge Foundation.
College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. 
For more information  contact Matthew Doyle Olson, Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator at [email protected] or 207-801-5688.

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