OCT. 8, 2012

Third annual Stanford Food Summit to be held Oct. 24

BY ERIN DIGITALE

Christopher Gardner

Stanford University researchers and scholars and local food activists are invited to Food Summit 3, a one-day symposium designed to unite people from all corners of the Stanford community who are interested in improving the quality of the food we produce, provide and consume.

The symposium will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Arrillaga Alumni Center, with a public forum to follow that evening at Memorial Auditorium.

Food Summit 3 aims to connect Stanford faculty, graduate students and undergraduates who are interested in food-systems research with members of community-based food organizations. The symposium will present findings from three pilot projects that grew out of the Stanford-community partnerships established at the second Food Summit event in 2011. The projects, in the areas of farm-to-school food, hospital food and food-bank food, are just the first examples of what the organizers hope will become a larger effort to encourage food-systems research at Stanford.

“Our longer-term goal is to build a food-systems research center on campus,” said Christopher Gardner, PhD, the associate professor of medicine who is organizing the summit. The engagement of all seven Stanford schools in a variety of food-related research projects gives Stanford a unique niche in addressing local, national and global food problems, Gardner said. “Of 7 billion people on the planet, a billion are hungry and nearly a billion are overweight or obese,” he said. “There’s enough food to go around, but how do you produce it and how do you distribute it? Those are systems issues in growing a sustainable-food movement that Stanford may be able to help solve.”

The Food Summit’s public forum, offered at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24, will feature a keynote presentation by author and speaker John Robbins, who walked away from his family’s Baskin-Robbins ice cream fortune to become a social activist, first rising to prominence with the publication of his 1987 book, Diet for a New America. Robbins’ presentation is titled, “Food revolution 2012.” It will be followed by a panel discussion titled, “Farm bill or food bill?” with Stanford and Bay Area food activists.

More information and registration for the summit is available at http://foodsummit.stanford.edu/. The daytime symposium is targeted at faculty, researchers and students with an interest in food-systems research and community food activists, and is limited to 400 participants. The evening forum is open to the general public. Both events are free.

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