Taking root: A Southwest Sustainable Food Summit

Photo credit: Brian McCollow

Quick riddle: what’s necessary, varied and sumptuous?  Answer: food!

If you’ve been overcome with questions about the origin of your daily vittles portions (or are slightly more than apathetic about the topic), you’re in luck.  From February 11-13, United Students for Fair Trade (USFT) and the Real Food Challenge (RFC) Southwest Regional Chapters are partnering to bring you a weekend full of fair trade and sustainable food activism.

The inexpensive conference will include workshops, lectures and panels about the intersection of food and sustainability.  The topics will include local produce, urban agriculture, grassroots organizing, fair trade, labor and immigration, access and poverty, and workers’ rights in the food system.  Speakers will vary from student leaders to professors, entrepreneurs, producers, and seasoned activists.  We’ve designed the conference to be all-inclusive.  Whether you want to take up gardening or discuss the implications of globalization on national food systems, we’ll provide a forum.

Several universities from around the southwest will be present to discuss how they’ve implemented more sustainable foodstuffs in their home locations.  Tabling will occur in the two hour lunch break.  Feel free to wander, chat and chow down.

Volunteers are needed.  If you have availability at any time during the weekend and can help out, please email the conference coordinator Kim Pearson at [email protected] for more information.  Volunteers receive a fantastic fair trade t-shirt designed specifically for the conference.

Food affects everyone; we all must eat.  While we acquire food every day, we rarely enquire as to how it came to be.  Now is the opportunity to find out.

Register at http://www.usft.org/southwestconvergence. The $35 fee will include 5 meals, a home stay for Friday and Saturday night, a fair trade conference tote bag from Las Otras Hermanas, and more.

For more information about the conference and the organizations sponsoring it, check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=174922125857598.

By Samantha Feinberg