On June 16th Slow Food BU hosted a panel of local food experts in preparation of the Boston screening of FRESH, a movie about the broken American food system and how people are working to change it. A ticket to the event included a pass to see FRESH at The Brattle Theater in Cambridge.
The panel included (left to right) Willow Blish, the chapter leader of Boston Slow Food; John Lee, owner of Allandale Farm; JJ Ghonson, a personal chef who uses only local ingredients in her business Cuisine en Locale; and Jeff Morin, manager of City Feed and Supply.
All panelists agreed that while consumer awareness has increased in recent years, there is still much progress to be made. Consumers need to become more connected with their local farmers rather than just buying what is convenient. For example, even though produce may be more expensive at a local farm than from a chain supermarket, consumers should consider where the price difference came from. Many people might not realize lower prices come at a cost to farmers and the environment. By purchasing local foods, consumers are making an investment in their communities and getting healthy, delicious foods at the same time....doesn't sound like such a bad deal after all! The panelists also noted that if consumers are concerned about the cost of local foods, they could save money and reduce their carbon footprint by cooking at home more rather than eating out.
After each panelist spoke, the floor was opened to audience questions. Many interesting topics were brought up such as school lunches, city planning and how to get more local produce in grocery stores.
Thank you to all our panelists and guests for such an informative and interesting discussion!