CHARLEMONT FORUM GIVES FOCUS TO SOIL HEALTH, FOOD JUSTICE AND NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
(CHARLEMONT) Forging links between the health of our nation’s soil, having access to healthy food and its far-reaching nutritional impact will be the themes of the Charlemont Forum’s 2021 opening event on June 9th.
Exchanging perspectives on the issues will be Jeff Tkach, Chief Impact Officer of the Pennsylvania-based Rodale Institute, and Jessica O’Neill, Executive Director of Just Roots, a Franklin County organization focused on food access and food justice. Hosting the program, “Regenerative Agriculture, Food Justice and Nutritional Outcomes” will be Mary Purdy, a Seattle-based Integrative Eco-Dietician, author, and Adjunct Professor at Bastyr University.
“Our conversation will center on the intersection of people, planet and food,” says Purdy. “We need to realize that the health of the individual, the health of the environment and a just, balanced agricultural system are all dependent on one another and will ultimately each benefit the other.”
“Too often people mistake access to healthy food as being singularly defined as the physical receipt of food,” adds O’Neill, “and feel that the price of food is the main contributing factor to a lack of food access. But affordability isn’t the only factor. Transportation, time constraints, familiarity with local ingredients, confidence in the kitchen and even access to a full service kitchen and basic utensils are all barriers that prevent food access, contribute to poor health outcomes and keep food justice at bay.”
Speaking from the perspective of the Rodale Institute, which founded the concept of organic farming in 1947, Tkach explains that “regenerative agriculture is an organic process that creates a healthier soil. By growing demand for organic food, we will move away from chemical dependent agriculture. Organic farming produces a healthier food product. Healthier food means healthier people. It’s that simple!”
This Forum event will be carried on Zoom between 7 and 9 p.m. on June 9th. Participants must register at https://fb.me/e/4aTNUH2QA or find the June 9th event on the Charlemont Forum Facebook page. The webinar link will be sent out two weeks prior to the event.
This program is supported by the Cultural Councils of Amherst, Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont/Hawley, Colrain, Conway, Goshen, Heath, Leyden, Plainfield, Rowe and Shelburne, which are all supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.