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Nerdy Food People

We’ve been occupied by festivals and forums over here in grizzled Connecticut. On Friday evening, without plans and wanting something to do, O and I scrolled through the University’s calendar of events. There is always- but always!- something do. However, it can be a bit hit-or-miss for the everyday joe. On a campus full of big-brained Ivy Leaguers, everyone seems to have some sort of niche interest. Want to learn about the role that yellow shoes played in Shakespearian tragedies? There will probably be a free lecture on it.

I just don’t always want to spend my Friday night attending.

This time, we were unexpectedly lucky: the Nourish New Haven food justice symposium was going on that night fo’ free. (O points out that this may sound as unlucky and dull as a Shakespearian shoe lecture to some of you. Hmm.) However, it’s a pretty good fit for budget-conscious people whose interest is piqued whenever food is mentioned. Over the past year, we’ve been inspired to modify what goes into our refrigerator. Less meat, more vegetables, local when we remember. Last night, we ate veggie nuggets for dinner; today I bought Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s an ongoing process.

At the conference, among other things, we watched Soul Food Junkies* and attended a panel discussion by local foodfolk, like the head chef of a sustainable sushi joint and the owner of a nearby community farm. Before it was half over, I was declaring it a success.

I had no idea these initiatives were underway in our little city, where 25% of the population is impoverished and my go-to discriptor of our neighborhood is ‘gritty’. It is not a city filled with parks, certainly not what I consider earthy. That’s the role Boulder, Colorado exists to play. I’ve been there; I know how many dreadlocks and urban chickens live within a five-mile radius.

It was exciting to find this group of people HERE, hiding right under my pale little nose. People who see deep injustice in the fact that there are kids who don’t know what a tomato looks like because they’ve never seen one. My fondness for this city is growing, slowly but surely, as I begin to see that there are exciting things going on.

P.S. For those of you who have seen all of the food films out there, we wondered if our favorite farmer (the fellow with the overalls and big glasses) would make an appearance in this one as well. That guy is in just about every movie we’ve seen about food…except this one. It was kind of a miracle.

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February 27, 2013 - 2:14 pm

Haley - Joel Salatin! Love that guy.

February 27, 2013 - 2:20 pm

Emily - That’s the guy. We met a lady at the conference who went to his farm once and talked to his wife; she said, oh, no, no he’s never here- he’s always out giving speeches these days. Ha!