Our First Gathering

May 15, 2017 @ the Riveter

The culture of food is as important, if not more important, than the production of food...Because our food system is disconnected.  It operates in silos: vegetables here, animals here, grains somewhere else — each component part separate from the others and unhitched to any kind of culture.”
— Dan Barber, The Third Plate

The invitation was to come explore sustainability and the food system.  Our guiding premise was inspired by a book we'd both recently read, The Third Plate.  Our plan was to show up with a few ideas and minimal structure, then let the project be shaped by those who showed up.  Certainly we wanted to be rooted in a few basic notions -

  • systems thinking - a theory that explores the links among the seemingly unconnected and uses this holistic understanding to re-imagine current systems through elegant and innovative design. This methodology can be used to help organizations and individuals move beyond problem-solving to discover and implement patterning or structures for long-term health and wellbeing.  
  • accessibility - envisioning a healthy food system for land and people as a right for all, rather than a privilege.  
  • diversity - we enter the system where we are, as we are and hope the discussion will only broaden with time to include a variety of voices from across cultures, races, genders, ages, and identities. 
  • collaboration - a work in progress that we all contribute to, taking turns to both lead and listen.

About 15 of us gathered around a table to see what could happen when we asked each other a few questions and shared our ideas. 

We started with a Check-in Question - when were you last on a farm?

The discussion split into two groups to delve into production/consumption (the whys and whats of the system) and culture (optimal conditions for eating and digestion, the importance of community, cuisine).  After a time, the dialogue merged and we took from it a framework for future conversations.

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