From the victory garden at the White House to author Michael Pollan on Oprah Winfrey, conversations of local food and gardening are receiving national attention. Oxford University Press voted “locavore” word of the year in 2007, and Slow Food USA saw its membership more than double in 2009.
In Indianapolis, R-Bistro owner-chef Regina Mehallick has been nominated for a James Beard award, farmers markets are bustling year round, and a project to create a 6,000 sq. ft. vegetable garden at White River State Park was awarded $10,000 in the 2009 Spirit & Place Pecha Kucha competition. The Harrison Center for the Arts and the Indiana Humanities Council brought in a record crowd for the First Friday event FoodCON in March 2010. All in all, we are experiencing a cultural revolution in how we think about food, food systems and where our food comes from in Indianapolis and across the U.S.
However, as the modern food movement slowly attempts to move away from an industrialized food production system, the language and terminology of food and agriculture has been co-opted by various stakeholders. The goal of this panel discussion is to clarify the confusing terminology that has entered our food system, including terms such as: organic, all-natural, cage free, free range, bio-engineered, CSA, GMO, CAFO, raw, grass-fed, grass-finished, grain fed, hormone free, gluten free, BGH, antibiotic free, pastured, homogenized, pasteurized, sustainable, wild caught low spray, no spray, heirloom, genetically modified, heritage, urban farm, community garden, co-op, local, grower-producer, etc.
Trying to understand what and how to eat can make your head spin. Collaborators for this event will involve farmers, chefs, producers and consumers which will provide the audience with a diversity of opinion to help work towards a more responsible and engaging food future.