2011 brings opportunities for economic development and Farm Bill organizing
by Carolyn Zezima
February 23, 2011
*Any opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not constitute the opinions of the Food Systems Network NYC.
A panel of food activists, farmers, and policy advocates offered their predictions and visions for the 2011 year in food at the first-ever "NYC Food Almanac"
. The event, held on February 2 at 632 on Hudson and presented by “Food for Thought” and Food Systems Network NYC, gave the audience a hopeful glimpse of the future of our local food and farming system. The Food for Thought series was created by Mary Cleaver of The Cleaver Co./The Green Table
, and 632 on Hudson
owner, Karen Lashinksy to raise awareness and funds for groups working to improve the health of our food supply. The discussion was accompanied by tasty seasonal hors d’oeuvres, local wine and beer and a winter tagine supper from The Cleaver Co.
Anna Lappé, food activist and author of Diet for a Hot Planet
, and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute
and Small Planet Fund moderated the panel, which consisted of:
• Kate MacKenzie, Director, Policy and Government Relations, City Harvest
• David Haight, Director, American Farmland Trust
(AFT) New York;
• Jen Small, Farmer, Flying Pigs Farm
• Brian Halweil, Editor of Edible
East End, Publisher of Edible Manhattan/Brooklyn and Co-Director, Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project
Short-term Forecast for Food and Farming
Lappé first asked panelists what events or issues they think will most likely define the 2011 local food and farming scene. Positive predictions from the panelists for the coming year focused primarily on the opportunity for food activists to position food and farming as an engine for regional economic development and job creation, and the opportunities for Farm Bill organizing and coalition-building.