Monday, July 9, 2012

Change is Coming to Dinner

Danny Harris, Katherine Gustafson, Mike Curtin, Sara Polon and Bernadine Prince
Author Katherine Gustafson book, Change Comes to Dinner, inspired a panel discussion at the Sixth and I Synagogue, with Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen; Bernadine Prince, Co-Executive Director of DC FreshFarm Market; and Sara Polon, Owner of SouperGirl.  Moderated by Danny Harris, founder of People's District and Co-founder of Feastly, the panel touched on a wide range of issues about societal conceptions of food and our food system.

The panel suggested that the foodie trend is evolving beyond a niche and becoming more important to society as a whole as people start demanding fresher and local foods.  Gustafson's travels in Change is Coming to Dinner show the variety of local movements from aquaponic farming to creating completely new systems in shipping containers by individual entrepreneurs with creative ideas about their approaches to growing food.

There is also a sense of community with the food movement that the panel says encourages people to participate.  Gustafson commented that while the people she featured were pioneers in the place they were doing it, they felt like they were part of something bigger and connected to their communities and others.  Prince echoed the connection, noting DC FreshFarm Market's partnership with Curtin and DC Central Kitchen to get fresh foods to them and ensure sale of her participating farms food.

The ideas and opinions discussed lead to several questions from the audience and encouraged the bigger on-going conversation on a larger level in my mind.  It showed many opportunities for each person to participate on a macro level even though food is primarily considered a micro issue.  You can learn more about the positive side of the food movement in Gustafson's book, Change Comes to Dinner.  It was a great read and really opened my eyes to the different approaches individual food entrepreneurs are taking!

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