What Does it Mean to Eat Well?
Posted March 2014
CIAS launched its 25th anniversary celebration with a seminar addressing the question: What does it mean to eat well? CIAS has been asking questions like this since our inception in 1989, and we continue to explore this topic as we move into the future. In order to truly eat well, a healthy appetite includes a desire to understand our food through the land, people and communities who sustain it.
The seminar featured Odessa Piper, former Madisonian and founder of L’Etoile restaurant. Her remarks touched on many themes including the importance of story, as well as science, in creating local and regional food systems, and the need to question conventional wisdom about where we’re headed and the best way to get there. She was joined by a remarkable panel of farmers and faculty who explored the question of eating well, incorporating perspectives on farming, gastronomy, health, equity, climate change and social justice. These panelists were:
- Jim Munsch, Deer Run Farm, Coon Valley, WI
- Jonathan Patz, Global Health Institute, UW-Madison
- Tony Schultz, Stoney Acres Farm, Athens, WI
- Monica White, Community and Environmental Sociology, UW-Madison
- Michael Bell, moderator, CIAS
The seminar was well attended, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came, participated in the discussion, and captured the conversation through tweeting and blogging.
In her remarks, Odessa spoke of the role CIAS has played in creating more sustainable food systems, and why we have good reason to celebrate:
“There are so many advancements in the world of food. We’ve come so far—from the back-to-the-land movement of the ‘60s to the sustainable arts of today. We know so much more about the culture of food, its ancestry and provenance, and the diversity of its cuisines. We’ve deepened our understanding of the connection between the health of the land and the health of the people. These are the compelling issues of our time, and in the last decades they have come into focus, entwined, and grown exponentially. So it is very apropos that we have gathered to acknowledge 25 years of collaboration and contributions made by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.”