Chef to headline planning conference
STEVENSVILLE — The Eastern Shore Land Conser vancy has released the agenda for its 17th annual Planning Conference to be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club.
The event, “Food Fight! Healthy? Sustainable? Realistic?” is an all-day affair that boasts an impressive list of national and regional speakers. Attendees should expect to be engaged in interactive sessions with the goal of helping to discover what an optimal food system based on Eastern Shore agriculture would look like in the future.
Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde, Baltimore’s first winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef (Mid-Atlantic), was recently confirmed as a speaker at the conference. Gjerde’s presentation, entitled “From My Perspective — My Take on Healthy, Local and Sustainable,” will provide an informed view of what a celebrated chef in a major metropolitan restaurant goes through on a daily basis in order to prepare and serve healthy, locally sourced food.
International speaker Dr. Solomon H. Katz, director of the Krogman Growth Center and professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak at the conference, presenting “A Biocultural Perspective on Food, Food Waste and Beyond.” Other speakers include American University Professor T. Garrett Graddy Lovelace, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Scientist Beth McGee, FRESHFARM Co-Founder Ann Yonders, and more.
Home to some of the region’s richest soil, the Shore produces a substantial portion of Maryland’s wheat, soybeans and corn, as well as poultry. Whether someone operates a farm, food-related business or simply do the food shopping for their family and would like to know more about where it comes from, this conference will leave attendees better informed to make decisions that can positively affect the region’s overall health and sustainability.
One issue that will be examined during “Food Fight!” is that of food waste. Whether in the production, distribution, consumption or waste management aspects of its lifespan, the millions of pounds of wasted food our system produces has become a hot topic.
“It’s shocking to learn that a region with so much agriculture has severe food access issues,” ESLC Program Assistant and conference organizer Rachel Roman said. “Approximately 40 percent of the food that is produced goes to waste before it even reaches the grocery store. Dr. Katz will talk extensively about this problem as it often goes unnoticed in our daily lives.”
Interested attendees can register for $55 online at eslc.org/events. Students are encouraged to attend the conference with a discounted ticket price of $25.
ESLC has included free admission to a screening of the food-based documentary “In Defense of Food,” based on the book by Michael Pollan, with each conference ticket. Each screening will be held the evening prior to “Food Fight!” at the ESLC Center in Easton. Tickets to the film screening may be purchased separately for $10.
For more information about the conference, contact ESLC Program Assistant Rachel Roman at 410-690-4603, ext. 156, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde, who will speak during the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s 17th annual Planning Conference on Nov. 10, was a first place winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef (Mid-Atlantic).