Middlebury

Symposium October 20-24 focuses on 'What We Eat and What It Means'

October 10, 2008

IMMEDIATE

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Middlebury College will host a student organized symposium, "What We Eat and What It Means," examining cultural approaches to food from every angle - including urban food security, spirituality, and food safety - from Monday, Oct. 20, through Friday October 24. All events, which include lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, local food samplings and a poetry slam, are free and open to the public.

According to student organizer Amanda Warren, the symposium aims to go beyond the hand-to-mouth relationship that many overscheduled college students have with their food. "The symposium will tackle difficult issues, and celebrate the edible traditions that bring people together," Warren says. "It will bring together diverse elements of the campus around cuisine - the ultimate expressing of our differences and our commonality."

On Monday, Oct. 20, the symposium begins with a talk on the topic of "Just Taste the Tomato: The Place of Food in a More Inviting Environmentalism" at 4:30 p.m. in the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Room 103, located on College Street (Route 125). Middlebury Professor of English and Environmental Studies John Elder will speak about one of his specialties - "keeping it local." At 8 p.m. there will be a screening of the documentary film "The Greenhorns," which focuses on young, local farmers. The screening will also take place at the Franklin Center and the film's producer, Severine von Tscharner will be present for questions and discussion.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, from noon-2 p.m., there will be a mini farmers market held on Battell Beach, the open space behind Battell Hall located off College Street (Route 125). Later that afternoon, at 4:30 p.m., President and Chief Operating Officer of Whole Foods Market Walter Robb will give a talk titled, "Reestablishing our Connections," in the Dana Auditorium in the Sunderland Language Center, located on College Street. A leader in the food industry, Robb is a forward thinker on the topics of environmentally sustainable development and economy, and believes Whole Foods can make a significant difference in the way Americans think about food.

Ellie Kastanopolous, the director of Equity Trust, will give a lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, in Room 103 of the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest titled "Gaining Ground: Access to land is at the heart of many problems." Directly following her talk, Kastanopolous will also lead a joint panel discussion with Sarah Heim of University of Vermont Campus Kitchens and Theresa Snow of the Vermont Food Bank Farm. These speakers will explore issues surrounding economics, politics, and property rights and the social implications these factors have on our food system.

Amy Trubek, noted author of the book "Taste of Place" and assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Vermont, will give a talk titled "The Taste of Place, Our Possible Future" on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 220 of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, located on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). Trubek will analyze the powerful connection between where our food comes from and the taste sensations it gives. The evening will conclude with a food-themed Poetry Slam, held at 8 p.m. in the Gamut Room in the basement of Gifford Hall, located on College Street (Route 125). The slam will allow for creative expression of the highly individualized relationships Middlebury students have with food.

On Friday, Oct. 24, Founder and President of American Flatbread George Schenk will deliver a talk on "American Food In Punctuation," at 12:30 p.m. in Room 103 of the Franklin Environmental Center. Schenk's speech will explore practical, realistic and economically successful ways of incorporating many of the food symposium's missions into a business model.

The food symposium is sponsored by the Middlebury College Student Symposium Committee. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact student organizer Amanda Warren at (617) 721-0673 or email awarren@middlebury.edu.

To follow is a schedule of symposium events:

Middlebury College Food Symposium: What We Eat and What It Means
Oct. 20 - 24
All lectures and events are free and open to the public.

Monday, Oct. 20
4:30 p.m. Lecture: "Just Taste the Tomato: The Place of Food in a More Inviting Environmentalism"
John Elder, Middlebury professor of English and Environmental Studies
Room 103, Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest on College Street (Route 125)
8 p.m. The Greenhorns: "A Documentary Film about Young Farmers"
Film producer Severine von Tscharner will be present for questions and discussion
Room 103, Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, located on College Street (Route 125)

Tuesday, Oct. 21
12 - 2 p.m. Mini Farmers Market
Battell Beach, located off College Street (Route 125) behind Battell Hall
4:30 p.m. Lecture: "Re-establishing our Connections"
President and Chief Operating Officer of Whole Foods, Inc. Water Robb
Dana Auditorium in the Sunderland Language Center, located on College Street (Route 125)

Wednesday, Oct. 22
4:30 p.m. Lecture and discussion: "Gaining Ground: Access to land is at the heart of many problems"
Director of Equity Trust Ellie Kastanopolous with assistance from Sarah Heim of University of Vermont Campus Kitchens and Teresa Snow of the Vermont Food Bank Farm
Room 103, Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, located on College Street (Route 125)

Thursday, Oct. 23
4:30 p.m. Lecture: "The Taste of Place, Our Possible Future"
Amy Trubek, author of "Taste of Place" and University of Vermont assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences
Room 103, Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest on College Street (Route 125)
8 p.m. Food-themed Poetry Slam
Gamut Room in Gifford Hall, located on College Street (Route 125)

Friday, Oct. 24
12:30 p.m. Lecture: "American Food in Punctuation"
Founder and President of American Flatbread George Schenk
Room 103, Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, located on College Street (Route 125)

The food symposium is sponsored by the Middlebury College Student Symposium Committee. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact student organizer Amanda Warren at (617) 721-0673 or email awarren@middlebury.edu.

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