Each year as part of the Cooking for Solutions celebration at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we host a two-day Sustainable Foods Institute for members of the media, food industry leaders and key figures with nonprofit organizations involved in promoting sustainable seafood and organic agriculture.
This year, the Institute events were extraordinary -- and it's not just us patting ourselves on the back. Those attending tell us the speakers and panelists were compelling, and the conversations they ignited will be echoing for quite a while.
We had great media in attendance and on panels -- from publications including TIME Magazine, the New York Times, Gourmet Magazine, the Washington Post, National Public Radio as well as leading online food writers. We had great folks to honor, from our Chef of the Year Thomas Keller and Educator of the Year Alton Brown, to sustainable foodservice leaders like Bon Appétit Management Co. and Compass Group North America.
A lot of folks are already writing about their experiences online, or were tweeting throughout the events.
The Washington Post's All We Can Eat blog highlighted our Seafood Watch Take Action cards as a great way to engage restaurants around sustainable seafood issues. Writer Jane Black also did a Q&A with Charles Clover, whose book about overfishing, The End of the Line, debuts as a documentary film on World Ocean Day, June 8. (Terra Wellington blogged it too, and includes a YouTube video with Ted Danson, who's the narrator for the film.)
For Gourmet's Barry Estabrook, news about a pending boom in humane treatment of farm animals was the top headline, and deftly headlined ("Humane Beings"). The potential that more than a third of farm animals will receive humane care within five years was startling -- and encouraging.
Chef Aaron French of Civil Eats offers examples of how writers are telling stories of sustainability to an audience that reaches well beyond the choir. Sam Fromartz shared with Chews Wise readers a range of topics, from seafood to ethical animal care, while alerting MIT's Sloan Management Review subscribers to the growth in consumer demand -- and business acceptance -- of seafood from sustainable sources.
Bonnie Powell shared the wisdom of Wes Jackson on The Ethicurean, including his contention that sustainability is a "value term, like justice and health." The post also explores a Bruegel painting used by Jackson to illustrate what a truly sustainable agricultural community looked like in another era. Food Gal Carolyn Jung offers up a photo tour of the people, purveyors in attendance -- as well as calling out the top news tidbits generated by the Institute.
From Julie Packard's opening remarks, reported by the Examiner, to Mark Anderson's tour of the events in words and photos; from Cheryl Sternman Rule's take on sustainable seafood on 5 second rule, to Fiona Robinson's observations about an aquaculture panel that didn't just bash the aquaculture industry -- there's a lot of good writing and reflecting out there.
With much, much more to come.
Photos of Alton Brown and Alexandra Guarnaschelli (c) Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder.