Spring 2018 Environmental Lecture Series

Challenges and Opportunities for Our Food Chain in an Age of Changing Climate and Big Ag

 West Chester University Mitchell Hall

675 S Church St, West Chester

7:00 pm 

free and open to the public

Hosted by: Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection 4CP (web)

West Chester University Office of Sustainability (web)

Sierra Club (web) PA South Eastern Chapter

West Chester Borough Sustainability Advisory Committee

 

In the current era of large corporations creating and satisfying consumer demand through mono-culture and “big Ag” technology, there is a revolution, of sorts, to eat local and organic, protect the diversity of foods, identify and avoid the harmful chemicals built into the process, and enjoy preparing and eating food at the same time. What does the future hold for Pennsylvania as we transition to a climate similar to that of Georgia today?

Join us for a spring program of lectures, demonstration and discussion about today’s food challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

All programs are in Mitchell Hall, 675 S Church St, West Chester University starting at 7:00 pm

 

Wednesday February 21

Regenerative Grazing and Reviving Rural Economies

Judith D. Schwartz

 

Climate change, desertification, loss of biodiversity, droughts, floods, malnutrition and obesity are issues confronting citizens around the globe. Judith D. Schwartz, grazing expert and author of Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth , is able to offer solutions to these issues by looking first to the soil.

Join us on Feb. 21st to find out how consumers, activists, entrepreneurs/companies and investors are working toward solutions by creating food, clothing and personal care production systems that restore our ecosystems while providing basic goods to their communities. Judith Schwartz will look at how meat, dairy, leather and wool operations are at the forefront of restoring our soils and ecosystems, while helping to mitigate climate change and revive local economies.

 

 

Wednesday March 21

 

The Roughwood Seed Archive for Food Studies: Seed to Table, Regional Foods as A Dietary Roadmap in a Changing Climate

William Woys Weaver

 

First established by the late H. Ralph Weaver in 1932 the Roughwood Seed Archive is the oldest private seed collection in Pennsylvania and the only collection to have received African-American accessions from American folk artist Horace Pippin.  The thrust of the collection is cultural and educational (as opposed to agricultural): seeds are cultural artifacts representing our shared culinary heritage.  Our emphasis on seeds to table represents the basic connectedness between source of food and a healthy lifestyle: what pioneering French chef Alain Passard calls traceability.  

 

Within this framework, Dr. Weaver will outline how the Roughwood Seed Archive is working with chefs and growers to emphasize those heirloom food plants that grow best in our region and how traditional foodways have become a culinary road map into the future. This movement back to the land is taking place all across Europe, and since Pennsylvania is the third largest agricultural state in the country – with five distinct culinary regions – our unique region is poised to take a lead in the renewal of American cuisine.

 

 

 Wednesday April 25

Regenerative Crop Production and Sequestering Carbon

The Rodale Institute

The Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 by organic pioneer J.I. Rodale to study the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people.  Its staff of researchers, farming specialists and educators are committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet.

A Rodale specialist will talk about the new Regenerative Organic Certification — a cooperative effort among a coalition of farmers, ranchers, nonprofits, scientists, and brands, led by Rodale, to establish a new, high-bar standard for regenerative organic agriculture. The goals of the Regenerative Organic Certification are to increase soil organic matter over time, improve animal welfare, provide economic stability and fairness for farmers, ranchers, and workers, and create resilient regional ecosystems and communities.

 

The environmental outcomes of a systemic shift to regenerative organic agricultural practices could be profound. In 2014, research by Rodale Institute estimated that if current crop acreage and pastureland shifted to regenerative organic practices, 100% of annual global CO2 emissions could be sequestered in the soil.

 

 

~ WATCH THIS SPACE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MAY and JUNE PROGRAMS ~

 

 

 

 

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