Mark Bittman to Speak at Bedford 2020 Food Forum: March 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On March 4, Hudson Valley residents are invited to celebrate local food, farming and cooking at the first Bedford 2020 Food Forum, featuring two “food-world rock stars”—New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman and sustainable food pioneer Michel Nischan, a three-time winner of the James Beard Award.
An event for all community members—home gardeners, chefs, cooks, teens, parents, activists, health-conscious individuals, or anyone who wants to learn more about local food—the forum will be held March 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fox Lane High School on Route 172 in Bedford. Participants can engage with experts about our food system and the benefits of local farms and food, and explore initiatives to eliminate food waste and increase food distribution to the needy.
“The Bedford 2020 Food Forum was born out of an overwhelming desire from community members to come together to learn, meet the stakeholders and share information about the local food scene in Northern Westchester and surrounding areas,” says forum Co-Chair Olivia Farr. “Our goal is for each attendee to leave the event with inspiring information and one or two specific action plans relevant to their own personal food, health and community priorities.”
The event is organized around four central food themes: Eat (celebrating and advocating for local food, and exploring strategies for better local cooking); Buy (exploring ways to evaluate, purchase and afford local foods; Grow (learning how to cultivate a backyard harvest); and Share (learning about local food security and accessibility, eliminating food waste and how to get involved and help throughout the community).
The keynote presenters will set the stage for the event’s themes of local food and taking action. The opening session will feature Bittman, a renowned author and self-proclaimed guru in “making food in all its aspects understandable.” Later, a general session will be led by Nischan, who founded Wholesome Wave, a leading organization aimed at ensuring affordable, healthy, local food for all.
“We are thrilled to provide the opportunity for community members to interact with these eminent thought leaders in the world of food. Both Mark and Michel bring an incredible depth of knowledge, a deep passion for local food and a unique ability to help individuals make beneficial food choices in line with their own personal goals,” says forum Co-Chair Karen Simons.
The Bedford 2020 Food Forum will also offer dynamic interactive workshops and expert panel discussions on the subjects of Buy, Eat, Grow and Share. Among the topics are The Skinny on What’s Really in Our Food; The Inside Scoop on Shopping a Farmers’ Market Like a Chef; Increasing Healthy Food in Our Schools; How to Get Involved With and Drive Food Policy; Local Success Stories in Feeding the Hungry Among Us; Backyard Bees and Chickens; and The History of the Food Movement in Our Area.
“With nearly twenty workshops, there will be something for everyone,” Simons notes. “A special set of workshops will be tailored to high school students who want to learn about topics from being a food justice leader to careers in food and agriculture.”
The Bedford 2020 Food Forum Expo, a hands-on display and learning venue, will feature an indoor famers’ market, live cooking demonstrations, a book corner, gardening and composting demonstrations, and lively discussion around food health, sustainable food systems, food justice advocacy, food waste and more.
“We anticipate over 50 expo booths at the food forum,” says Bedford 2020 Program Manager Ellen Calves. “The selection criteria for expo participants requires they provide a highly experiential, hands-on opportunity for people to dig in to local food.”
The $25 admission price includes keynote sessions, three self-selected workshops, the expo and a lunch made from seasonal local food. Students are admitted free, and scholarship tickets are available.