Progressive Foodies of NYC Unite!

logoKeen on setting up a food co-op or CSA in your neighborhood? Fascinated by the idea of keeping bees and raising chickens right in the heart of the city? Crave a food system that is more just, sustainable, healthy and delicious?

If you’ve answered yes, even hesitantly, to any of these questions and are in the NYC area this Saturday, then you need to check out the Brooklyn Food Conference. The event, sponsored by the Park Slope Food Co-op and others, will be a full (and free!) day of speakers, workshops and activities. It will take place at John Jay High School on 7th ave. and will feature cooking demonstrations and plenty of kid-oriented material. Below are a few sessions that look particularly interesting:

Urban Agriculture: Farms in Brooklyn (1:30 pm, Rm. 440) will feature speakers from the Red Hook Community Farm, the City Farms program of Just Food, Sustainable South Bronx and the Brooklyn Rescue Mission (moderated by yours truly). The panelists will be presenting on the various ways that urban agriculture projects try to meet the needs of the community by revitalizing spaces, creating educational opportunities, improving the local economy and, most importantly, providing nutritious, local and affordable food.

Food Rebellions (1:30 pm, Rm. 251) will examine the causes of steeply rising food prices and shortages in poor nations, the history of food
riots in the US and abroad, and how farmers and consumers are struggling to push back. Panelists for this session include Raj Patel (author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System) and the president of the Haiti-centered organization Bassin Zim Education and Development Fund.

Fuel vs. Food: Are biofuels and agrofuels the answer? (3:15 pm, Rm. G38) will present a discussion of the pros and cons of different forms of plant based fuels. Some of the panelists (co-founder of the Park Slope Ethanol Coop and CEO of Tri-State Biodiesel, among others) will make the case for expanding biofuels while others will discuss the way that this expansion competes with food crops for arable land and raises new environmental concerns.

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