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Fall Food Talk Series

PHILADELPHIA, September 24, 2012

Food, health, climate and politics affect everyone. This fall, prominent regional officials, grassroots activists, and a national expert will weigh in on the controversy surrounding these issues in a series of public forums at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

The Food and Public Health series is organized by the Academy’s Center for Environmental Policy as part of the institution’s yearlong bicentennial celebration.

“This is a great opportunity to hear what our community leaders have to contribute to the issues and to lend your voice to the discussion,” said CEP Director Roland Wall. “We hope a lot of people will come and join the conversation.”

The series is sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Main Line Health, and Drexel University School of Public Health. The events are:

Philadelphia’s Sustainable Food Village: It’s Complicated!

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. program

Academy Members: free; nonmembers: $5


Learn about how food moves from local fields to tabletops and the complex and interconnected food ecosystem in Philadelphia. Get a bird’s-eye view of the many ways educational, agricultural, nonprofit, and health organizations collaborate to bring nutritious, environmentally friendly foods to Philadelphia communities. Speakers include Steveanna Wynn, executive director of SHARE, and Ann Karlen, executive director of Fair Food.

Is Sustainable Agriculture Bad for the Planet?

Thursday, Oct. 18, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. program

Academy Members: free; nonmembers: $5


Does eating local really make you a better citizen? Does eating grass-fed livestock raise your emissions? Is it worth it to pay extra for organic products? Join contrarian sustainable food writer James E. McWilliams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, and a panel of sustainable food experts as they discuss how we should eat to help the planet. Organized with the Urban Sustainability Forum.

Moderator: Alison Hastings, manager of strategic partnerships, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Panelists: Blake Hurst, author of The Omnivore’s Delusion, and Mark “Coach” Smallwood, executive director, Rodale Institute.

Plenty for the Planet: Sustainable Food and a Well-Fed World, with special guest Anna Lappé

Sunday, Oct. 21, 5:30 p.m., followed by reception

Program only: free

Program and reception: Academy Members: $10; nonmembers: $12


Can we feed the world and heal the planet? Join writer and sustainability advocate Anna Lappé and local experts as they discuss the role of sustainable food systems in addressing the roots of hunger. This celebratory evening will feature local food tastings and a chance to honor participants of the Delaware Valley Farm Share and Winter Harvest programs. See Lappé’s provocative new short video in which she takes on the myth that chemical farming is needed to feed a hungry world. Presented in partnership with Common Market and Farm to City.

Food Politics: Is the Current Food System Sustainable?

A Bicentennial Town Square Keynote Event Featuring Marion Nestle

Thursday, Nov. 8, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. program

Academy Members: $10; nonmembers: $15

Registration is required:

Internationally known consumer activist, nutritionist and award-winning author Dr. Marion Nestle will discuss how food processing, marketing and sales are politicized in the U.S.  The food industry promotes a plethora of food products, yet having access to an overabundance of processed foods can lead to overeating and other health problems. Nestle will show food politics in action and ask whether the food system can be restructured in a way that is not harmful to people and the planet. Nestle is chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University and is a member of the Science Board of the Food and Drug Administration. She blogs at and has written numerous books including What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Food and Nutrition. Her research focuses on the scientific, social, cultural, and economic factors that influence the development, implementation, and acceptance of federal dietary guidance policies.

Program supported in part by Drexel University’s School of Public Health

Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043