Food and the way we produce, consume and handle its waste is a critically important topic encompassing human, social, economic and environmental factors.  Enjoy eating and imbibing while sharing your thoughts regarding this theme.

Videos:

Sisters of the Woods Future farmers and policymakers learn spiritual land stewardship at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice in Indiana established by the Sisters of Providence.

Locavore’s Dilemma with Carolyn Goodwin Who wouldn’t want to eat good food grown locally using sustainable methods? The biggest problem for most people is finding it. Here’s how one community is solving that problem. 

Food for Thought with Mark Loparco What does the Rocky Horror Picture Show have to do with feeding college students while helping to improve the lives of farmers?

Eat More Chocolate–Factory Owned by Cocoa Farmers Who says you have to sacrifice pleasure to do good?

A Cultivated City with Simpson Street Farmers You don’t have to live in the country to farm. Urban agriculture is blossoming in Portland, Oregon.  

Hatching Solutions with Al Seale Kodiak Fishery works with nature to increase the salmon population without chemicals. 

Real American Food You Have Never Tasted Think you know American food? Think again. This American Indian eatery serves food so unfamiliar you have to see it before you order it. 

No Scrap Left Behind A retired teacher revives the ancient practice of gleaning—to reduce waste and feed the hungry. 

Guests


Family, Friends, City/County Planners, City/County Parks and Recreation Folks, Farmers, Cooks & Chefs, Restaurant Folks, Whole Foods Market personnel, Single Person interested in meeting a hot tomato or top banana.

Setting


Kitchen/Dining Table, Picnic Table, Backyard, Park, Community Center, Vineyard (lucky you if you have this nearby), or green grocery store.

Tablescape


Live veggie plants (local) or veggies/fruits in basket in center of table, Pyramid of gardening tools, Stack of vegetables and fruits.

Art/Music


  • Soundtrack from 1951 Broadway musical Top Banana. Music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

Menu


Spicy Tomato sauce with spinach pasta; local veggie salad; local fruit dessert; local wine (if possible) or sustainably produced wine or favorite beverage.

OR: Try the dishes enjoyed by one of the speakers in the video you have watched, which is found on each’s video web page.  Sisters of Providence like the white bean and radish salad and the cheesy zucchini casserole. Carolyn Goodwin of Sound Food likes roasted beet and goat cheese salad. Sophi Tranchell with Divine Chocolate recommends Fabulously Divine Brownies. Simpson Street Farmers like Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms. Kodiak has lots of salmon so enjoy the Slow Cooked Red Wine Lacquered Salmon. A dish related to Native American food found at Tacabe’s is Blackberry BBQ Ribs. Enjoy imbibing the Cranberry Cordial found in No Scrap Left Behind.

Conversation Opener


Describe food you especially savor; or eating experience that was memorable—funny, exquisite or totally awful.

Questions to be Asked After One Glass of Wine


  • How do the foods you ate as a child compare with those you eat today?
  • What role do family or communal meals play in your life?

Discussions following Two Glasses of Wine

Food For Thought for Sisters of the Land Video:

  • The foundation for the work of the White Violet Eco-Justice Center is the spiritual belief of the interconnection of all life and the sacred connection to nature. Do you agree or disagree? If so, please elaborate.
  • The Center has many activities that promote sustainability and community including Community Supported Agriculture.  Are you involved in similar activities where you live?
  •  Bree mentions how meaningful her internship is at the Center and how valued she feels by the staff. Do you or do you know someone who would benefit from the Center’s internship program?
  • The US Department of Agriculture will spend $52 Million to support local and regional food systems like farmers’ markets and food hubs, and to spur research on organic farming. Research more at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/fmpp 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • There was a schism between the Vatican and Women Religious, which is the umbrella group of American nuns, until recently.  Following a Vatican investigation under Pope Benedict funding was cut to the Sisters in the US. Pope Francis ended the Vatican’s takeover of this main leadership group of American nuns in April 2015. However, there is still a lack of women serving on the Vatican Curia and in high administrative levels.  In addition, there seems to be no movement being made by Pope Francis on approving women as priests. 
  • Please share your thoughts.  If you believe that this is unfair, how might you help change the situation?

Food For Thought for Locavore’s Dilemma Video:

  • Share your thoughts about Carolyn’s efforts to connect people living in the Bainbridge community with farmers, restaurants and stores focusing on local foods.
  • Carolyn started and maintains this effort with volunteers. She lucked out with one of the original volunteers being versed in web technology.  How might you begin to start a Sound Food project in your community?
  • US Department of Agriculture will spend $52 Million to support  local and regional food systems including promotion of farmers markets and more.  Grants are available, check outhttp://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/fmpp

Food for Thought for Mark Loparco’s Video:

  • Mark’s interest in local foods was sparked by his trip to Italy. Describe a delicious dish you have enjoyed that included locally produced food. Please share what sparked your interest in consuming and/or growing local foods?
  • Mark reports that University of Montana food costs are at or below the industry standards despite widespread concern that buying local foods would be more expensive.  Please share your reaction and thoughts about this fact.
  • Does your local college or university have a Farm to College program?  If not, Mark indicated his willingness to assist through the sharing of information and guidance to make this happen.  Please contact him: LoParco, Mark mark.loparco@mso.umt.edu
  • Do you ask about local foods or wine when you go out to eat? If so, what has your experience been like? If not, would you be willing to do so as a result of seeing this video?

Additional Information

Agribusiness is a broad concept used to describe corporate agricultural enterprises individually and collectively. What is your knowledge of agribusiness and its positive and negative effects on food production?

The University of Montana as a major purchaser of foods expanded significantly the farming of local produce and pastured beef in Montana.  Farmers came together forming a cooperative as a result. Kathryn Shattuck in her article on Benefits of the Herd in the September 28, 2014 issue of the New York Times reports on the formation of the Adirondack Grazers Cooperative, which markets and sells beef for its 36 members in New York. Farmers and Grazers’ cooperatives are a growing force in the food production industry.  Please share your knowledge and/or experience with such cooperatives.

Food for Thought for Eat More Chocolate Video:

  • To the Mayas, cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility and the Aztecs believed that that it had nourishing, fortifying, and even aphrodisiac qualities. When did your love affair with chocolate begin?
  • What makes Divine Chocolate a unique and one of a kind Chocolate Company?  Does the answer to that question help to spur you towards being a wise consumer and choosing Divine Chocolate? Nah, that’s not a loaded question, it’s only your imaginationJ
  • For educational purposes only—no over indulging allowed—host a blind chocolate tasting paired with your favorite red wine or champagne.  Compare the texture, taste and complexities of Divine Chocolate  With other Fair Trade chocolates.
    • Shop for your favorite kind of chocolate at www.divine.org or find it in Whole Foods, Cost Plus World Markets, Harris Teeter, www.serv.org or at Greenwise Publix in Tampa, FL.

Additional Information

Americans spend $14 billion a year on chocolate, that’s a lot of buying power. Did you know that over 40 percent of the world’s cocoa, the primary ingredient in chocolate, comes from West African nation of the Ivory Coast. The State Department estimates that over one hundred thousand children in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor. Some ten thousand children are victims of human trafficking or enslavement. These child workers labor for long, punishing hours, using dangerous tools and facing frequent exposure to dangerous pesticides as they travel great distances in the grueling heat. Those who labor as slaves must also suffer frequent beatings and other cruel treatment. To learn more view “Dark Side of Chocolate” from Green America and follow Discussion Guide that comes with it. Dark Side of Chocolate movie.

  • While other high-end chocolate companies use third-party certification to ensure that their products aren’t tainted with child slave labor and the exploitation of cocoa-producing communities, Godiva does not. Green America’s Fair Trade Chocolate Campaign.
  • After a sustained effort for over 7 years by Fair Trade activists, Hershey’s agree to go Fair Trade but not completely until 2020 so you may want to buycott until then and be sure to let Hershey’s know so they know the money they are losing by not implementing sooner.

Food for Thought for Cultivated City Video:

  • What are the benefits of urban farms to growers and neighbors?
  • All it takes is a little yard space, connecting to other like-minded people, sharing tools and labor, and being determined. Interested?  How would you begin? What restaurants or other organizations could be customers for your food?  Is there a farmers’ market in your locale where you could also sell your goods?
  • The Cully Collective decided not to join the grange because of their lobbying efforts especially for Genetically Modified Foods GMOS. What are the pros and cons of joining a grange or starting your own?
  • Sun Blossom Farms offers a different option for Community Supported Agriculture members. Are you aware of similar farms, if so, please elaborate?
  • Bees pollinate an estimated 75% of food crops. The wide-spread loss of bee colonies appears to be due to multiple interacting causes of death including bee parasites, pesticides, flowerless landscapes and monocultures.  Sun Blossom Farms grows flowers especially for the bees.  What are you or can you do to help address the loss of bee colonies?

Food for Thought for Hatching Solutions Video:

  • Pillar Creek Hatchery appears to be filling a need in the Kodiak region by contributing to the provision of the 35% of hatchery wild salmon in the area.  Please discuss your thoughts about this.
  • Discuss the difference between Farm Raised and Hatchery Originated Salmon and what the pros and cons of both approaches might be.
  • Do you know of any animal-related food-producing farms in your area that might apply this model for more sustainable and humane methods?

Food for Thought for American Food You’ve Never Tasted Video:

  • What is your knowledge and/or experience of eating Native American foods?
  •  Ben shares his ideas on successful entrepreneurship including sharing your dream, no matter how big, with others you meet as one does not know who will be similarly inspired by your dream to help or even to give funds. Now might be a good time to share your dream with your dinner partners or to share your experience with making your dream a reality.
  • Tacabe contributes time and resources to the national food distribution program and in the process broadens their own knowledge and connection with Native Americans and food recipes.   Receiving and giving are important facets of many cultures including American Indians.  How has that played out in your own experience in life or business?

Food for Thought Related to No Scrap Left Behind Video:

  • Dennis Karas has a passion to help lessen food scarcity for people through gleaning and sharing the resources.  Please share your thoughts about Dennis’ story.
  • Do you know of similar stories in your community?
  • How might you turn your passion to help others into reality as Dennis has done?

OTHER FOOD RELATED THOUGHTS TO CHEW ON: Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. . Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables”.http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

  • We waste food by buying more than we consume or cooking more than we eat. We throw out edible leftovers; buy in bulk because it is cheaper and then it goes bad;forget to use foods until they go beyond their perishable date; and the list goes on. Please share a way that you waste food and/or manage food waste.

Food for Thought: Grocery Store food products make up 63 percent of a supermarket’s disposed waste stream, according to a California Integrated Waste Management Board industry studyMany grocery stores are donating foods that are not used to food recovery groups in their community. However, the bulk of the foods donated include breads, cakes, and dented cans, but perishable food like produce and meats are not donated due in part to concerns about liability if the food causes illness. The Federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act in 1996 was designed to protect those establishments and individual donors from criminal and civil liability. State laws have been in place long before that which protect donors and encourage donation. http://www.alternet.org/story/146487/how_the_top_5_supermarkets_waste_food

  • Informed shoppers can have a surprising impact on grocery store owners and managers. Discuss approaching the stores where you shop to encourage them to become involved in food recovery actions and/or include produce and perishables.

Food for Thought: In the U.S., vegetables and fruits travel an average of 1500-3000 miles from farm to plate and the distances are increasing. Tax dollars subsidize the petroleum used in growing, processing and shipping these produces plus direct subsidies to large-scale industrial farms. Environmental costs and health costs add to this. Agricultural fuel use is $22 billion (paid by taxes; direct Farm Bill subsidies for corn and wheat ($3 billion), treatment for food related illnesses ($10 billion), agricultural chemical cleanup costs ($17 billion), collateral costs of pesticide use ($8 billion) and costs of nutrients lost to erosion ($20 billion)—adds up to national subsidy of $80 billion, about $725 per household each year). From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, et.al. 2007.

Please share your experiences:

  • Shopping for locally produced foods at Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores.
  • Eating at restaurants that serve local produce and humanely raised meat.
  • Participation in community farms and food coops.
  • Growing your own produce, raising your own chickens, etc.

More Actions


  • Approach the stores where you shop to encourage them to become involved in food recovery actions and, if they are, to expand to include produce and perishables. Recruit your friends to also inquire where they shop.
  • In Tampa the Hillsborough County Extension Office gives away one free compost bin and thermometer for attending a “Compost Happens Workshop”. Other cities like San Francisco and Seattle have adopted roles that mandate recycling of food waste from homes. Seattle has a Master Composter/Soil Builder Volunteer Program that is a key partner in the city’s waste reduction and recycling efforts. These volunteers provide community outreach, demonstrations and educational support to residents to recycle organic wastes in their own backyards. They attend 28 hours of training that include classroom learning and field trips in a variety of resource conservations practices from small-scale composting to managing stormwater to teaching others about the practices. Contact for more information sherihinshaw@seattletilth.org.
  • How can you become more engaged in composting on a personal and community level?
  • Participate in food production to the extent that you can, i.e., garden in yard, porch box or pot in sunny window. Plant some for the hungry in the community and donate produce to a shelter, day care center, neighbor or food bank.
  • Learn origins of food you buy and buy the food produced closest to your home.
  • Shop at Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores, which provide locally produced foods.
  • Eat at restaurants that serve local produce and humanely raised meat.
  • Participate as a group in Discussion Course on Menu For the Future prepared by Northwest Earth Institute (some of questions above were taken from this).
  • Lobby local government for free space for community garden i.e., unused athletic field, plots in parks, etc.
  • Consider the Operation Bon Appétit Dinners as communal meals with a purpose and keep them going.
  • Read another resource: YES! Magazine Spring 2009; Food for Everyone: How to Grow a Local Food Revolution.

Recipes

 

Closing Toast


“This we know, the Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth. We did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.” –Chief Seattle

 

About Us

Operation Bon Appetit is an initiative of the Cultural Innovations Agency, Inc. (CIA), a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, with the mission to engage ordinary people in sustainability and social change that emphasizes conviviality, arts, conversations and actions. The ethical framework for the CIA recognizes the interconnection of economic justice, human rights, respect for nature and a culture of peace.

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