Food For Thought: A Case for Local Food

Buy Fresh, Buy Local

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

7:00pm Community Potluck (bring a dish to share!), 7:30pm discussion

First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist Parish Hall

There many be nothing better than picking a ripe tomato out of your garden in late summer, or bighting into an apple right off the tree in the fall. As we observe the seasons shifting from the bounty of summer foods to those of the fall harvest, we may pause to consider what is special about the foods produced in Massachusetts.

“Local Food” is considered by many to be food that has been grown and/or produced within 100 miles of your home. Popular books such as Michael Pollen’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” have sparked people’s curiosity about “eating locally.”

Enthusiasts claim that compared to their conventional counterparts, locally grown foods taste better, have higher nutritional content, and may be sprayed with fewer pesticides. Environmentalists argue that eating local foods from small-scale farms can diminish CO2 emissions from long-distance transportation, reduce soil erosion and support the local economy. Critics, however, say that locally produced foods can be prohibitively expensive, and the availability of many foods is only seasonal.

Please join the Jamaica Plain Forum for discussion on the benefits and challenges of eating locally grown and produced foods in the first of an on-going food-related series, “Food For Thought.” Bring a dish to share at 7pm, then listen at 7:30pm to our home-grown experts Mark Smith, Danielle Andrews, and David Warner.

We will learn about the environmental, cultural and economic arguments for eating locally, the joys and challenges of growing and selling food in the city, why some business people decide to sell local products, and the myriad of ways to access local foods.

About our Speakers


Danielle Andrews

Danielle Andrews is the Boston Urban Grower for The Food Project, managing their 4 small urban farm plots in the Dudley neighborhood of Dorchester. She has worked in the sustainable agriculture field for the past 12 years, both on small family run farms and for non-profits running sustainable agriculture projects. She is a graduate of UCSC’s Agroecology program, and is particularly interested in small scale farming operations or market gardens.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Campaign Director for Farm Aid and Co-Founder of Brookwood Community Farm in the Blue Hills Reservation. Through Mark’s professional and volunteer work, he networks with many organizations to build a broader movement for family farm agriculture. He has worked on both a dairy farm and an apple farm, and with agricultural workers in El Salvador. In 2006 he helped to establish Brookwood Community Farm, a new organic community farm whose mission is to to reclaim and restore underutilized farmland for sustainable agricultural purposes, while connecting urban and suburban communitites to local food production. In his spare time Mark loves to grow vegetables with his wife and two children and dodge Boston drivers on his bike ride home. He organizes Boston’s annual Tour de Farms bicycle tour of local farms.

David Warner

David Warner is the Co-founder of City Feed and Supply which opened for business in 2000. He was raised on a small farm in southern Missouri that eventually went out of business due to economic pressures and technical failures. Member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. Community gardener since 2000. Currently volunteering on the board for The Food Project. City Feed and Supply sources products locally whenever possible. Favorite foods: Foraged Wild Blueberries, River Rock Farm Beef, Cohicks Country Store Bacon, Tomatoes from our garden, Thomasville donuts.

Thank you to the co-sponsors for this event:

The Food Project

City Feed and Supply

Farm Aid

Brookwood Community Farm

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