Food Dilemmas

“Food Dilemmas” Ashland AAUW Community Forum

Saturday, November 12, 2011  10:00a.m. – 12:00n

What’s for dinner?  Not a complicated question, right?  Several decades ago the answer was whatever we had harvested from our own garden.  Many of us grew up on farms and we ate what we raised.   What was in season or what mom had preserved were daily deciding factors.  But it’s a new world and today we go to grocery stores and are confronted with thousands of seductively packaged products placed to attract our attention and challenge our grocery budget.

Jude Wait from the Sentient Times writes, we are all “interested in eating locally grown produce, supporting sustainable agricultural, helping to ensure a fair living for farmers, keeping our food dollars local, celebrating nature, building soil, conserving water, engaging in community cooperation and securing a resilient future.  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) offers opportunities to accomplish all of the above while helping to bring together community members, farmers, and agricultural land in mutually supportive, sustainable relationships.”  Living in Ashland and Talent we are lucky to have several CSA farms along with other smaller farmers who provide us with fresh fruit and vegetable options at our local growers markets.  Americans pay less for food than any other industrialized nation on earth, but at what cost to us and to those striving to provide us with these food options?

While working on issues involving food in preparation for our forum I’ve discovered startling information about what we eat, how fresh it is, is it organic and if so how much more did we pay for that.  Was this food grown locally or shipped from Chile?  And if it was shipped from Chile, how much did that cost in transporting it to us?  What are GMO and “Seed Control”?  Not to mention I have an entirely different mental image of “Monsanto” than I used to.

The Ashland AAUW is proud to invite you to our community forum “Food Dilemmas” to be held Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 10a.m. – 12n at the Masonic Hall in Ashland.  Our three speakers, Chris Bourne, owner of Pickled Products; permaculture designer and instructor at U. C. Berkeley; and school advisor on sustainable gardening, Tracy Harding with the Rogue Valley Farm To School program; Master Recycler and associate of Blue Fox Farm for the Growers Market, and Sharon Johnson; Associate Professor with Oregon State University Extension Service who teaches at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point and whose areas of expertise are with Healthy Aging and Nutrition Food Safety.

At this forum our speakers will try to provide some answers to the “What’s for Dinner” question.  Time will also be available for your comments and questions.  So please join us for this event about food.  Not many subjects are more important than this!

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I am the co-chair of the Ashland AAUW's Spring Garden Tour which is our largest fundraising event of the year. The funds we raise annually allow us to give scholarships to women attending SOU and RCC. Last year we gave out $12,000 and we hope to exceed that amount in 2012.
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