Skip to main content

Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Where Does Our Food Come From
—and Why Does It Matter?

A Discussion Brunch with Ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan
and Farmer Joel Salatin (of The Omnivore's Dilemma fame)
Featuring Locally Grown and Produced Foods

Sunday, January 24, 2010 * 9:30-11 a.m. * Harlos House (1331 E. Tenth St.) * SIGN-UP REQUIRED

Do you know how the corn you consume was grown, or what the cow you are eating had for dinner? How far did the fresh strawberries or lettuce you bought in the cold of winter travel? Do the answers make a difference? Over 90% of America's food is non-local, much of it shipped from overseas. How does this impact American farmers? —the American economy? —your health? Join us for this discussion brunch with local food and organic farming advocates Gary Nabhan and Joel Salatin to find out. The meal and the discussion will be moderated by IU political science professor Christine Barbour, a food writer and co-director of Slow Food Bloomington.

Nabhan is a professor at the University of Arizona and the founder of Slow Food USA's Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) initiative. Interested in the slow food movement, conservation, and ethnobotany, Nabhan has won many awards for his work, including a MacArthur "genius" grant. Widely published, his books include Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods; Tequila: A Natural and Cultural History; Cross-Pollinations: The Marriage of Science and Poetry; Renewing America's Food Traditions; Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity; and Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's Quest to End Famine. Nabhan has also been interviewed on TV and radio programs and has lectured at universities around the world. For more information on Nabhan, please visit his Web site.

Salatin, who describes himself as a "Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist farmer," rose to fame after being featured in Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma and the documentary Food, Inc. His family's 550-acre Polyface Farm, located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, is recognized for its innovative, eco-friendly, and highly efficient agricultural practices. In addition to the innovative ways in which he feeds and houses his animals, Salatin also refuses to sell the meat his farm produces to anyone living more than a four-hour drive from his farm. His purpose is to encourage people to buy local and "keep the money in their own community." Salatin has written several books, including, Salad Bar Beef; You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise; and Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food. Salatin lectures throughout the country about his farming practices. For more on Salatin and his farm, go here.

Nabhan and Salatin will be in Bloomington for the Bloomington Eats Green Weekend. On Friday, January 22, Nabhan will speak on "Renewing America's Food Traditions" from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Woodburn 100. On Saturday, January 23, also from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and also in Woodburn 100, Salatin will speak on "Holy Cows and Hog Heaven." Both lectures will be free and open to the public. On Sunday, January 24, from 3 to 6 p.m. in Alumni Hall, the conference will end with a ticketed event—"Hog Heaven: A Celebration of Local Pork from Snout to Tail"—that will feature pork dishes prepared by 14 different Bloomington chefs and local music. For more information about the conference events, including ticket prices, check out this Web site.

Nabhan and Salatin's visit to Bloomington is sponsored by the IU departments of anthropology, geography, and political science; the Kelley School of Business; the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs; Bloomingfoods; and Slow Food Bloomington.

Photos From This Event | Current Programs | Extracurricular Home