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Friday, April 14th, 2017




Session Descriptions


Session I – “American as Apple Pie”: Food Citizenship, and the Stories We Tell

Dan Platt, PhD, Graceland University Humanities Department

Like its cousin concept, national citizenship, “food citizenship” is a strange bouillabaisse of geography, politics, and storytelling. In this presentation, I’ll offer an overview of the concept of food citizenship, including the brief history of its recent use by environmentalists and activists, Food Studies scholars, and policymakers. Then, I’ll shift to a critical examination of the rhetoric of food citizenship, raising questions about how one’s food citizenship is defined and articulated, what makes a “good citizen,” and who might be excluded from our imagined food communities. Along the way, I’ll explore intersections between food citizenship and other key concepts from the growing field of Food Studies, such as “foodways,” “food justice,” and “food sovereignty.” My argument will be informed by my work in literary studies, and I’ll draw examples from contemporary films and novels, such as Helena Maria Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus (1995). Ultimately, I’ll make the case that powerful, well-crafted stories are vital to imagining a food system that is both equitable and sustainable. 

Session II – Insects: The Ultimate Superfood

Kate Ytell, Graceland University Alumnus `16, B.A.

The world’s appetite for meat is growing, and addressing food security with regard for the environment is becoming an increasingly relevant issue. One solution may lie in changing our diet to include what are often considered among the lowliest of creatures: insects. Insects use far less resources, produce less waste, can even be used to recycle waste, and pose almost no risk of transmitting disease to humans, all while providing a tasty, nutritionally comparable alternative to beef, pork, and chicken. The value of insects as a source of animal protein is highly underappreciated, particularly in the Western world, but accepting them as a food source could address issues of both food security and the environmental pressures created by the food industry.

Session III - Why Grow Your Own Food?

Steve Upson, Senior Consultant at the Noble Foundation

Why grow your own food? When asked this question most people respond ’to save money’ or ‘to eat healthy’. But these responses only begin to describe the many benefits associated with farming a ‘little piece of paradise’. A review of the many social, spiritual, economic and health benefits associated with growing your own food will be shared with participants. While it is beyond the scope of the topic to provide detailed production guidelines for a range of fruit and vegetable crops, some of the more important growing systems and technologies available to support small scale fruit and vegetable growing will be addressed. Emphasis will be given to systems that encourage sustainability by utilizing local resources including the use of recycled and repurposed materials.

Session IV – The Dirt on Soil Health and Human Health

Gail Fuller, G & L Whole Food and Fuller Family Farms

When it comes to your health, you're standing on the answer. Once Gail started looking into what it would mean for his family farm north of Emporia, Kansas to be ecologically regenerative, he found himself learning the science behind soil life, photosynthesis, and the carbon, mineral and water cycles. He also started finding direct correlations between the health of the soil and his own health. His exploration led him to organize an annual "Field School" that draws speakers and guests from around the world to share the latest knowledge on regenerative agricultural practices. Hear what he has to share about how improving the health of your soil improves the health of you and your community.

Session V – Importance of Seed Saving

Diane Ott Whealy, Expert Gardener and co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange 

Through her session, Importance of Seed Saving, Diane will discuss how backyard gardeners can protect the genetic diversity of our food supply through heirloom gardening. She will share tips for designing and planting the perfect combination of heirloom flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Her lessons are applicable to gardens large or small and will emphasize growing self-seeding annuals, seed saving, and creating a sustainable as well as edible landscape. Her presentation will be illustrated with photographs from the founding of Seed Savers Exchange over 40 years ago, as well as her current garden at the nonprofit’s headquarters, Heritage Farm, near Decorah, Iowa.

Session VI – “Waste Not” with Aliza Eliazarov

Aliza Eliazarov, Freelance Photographer

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear New York City based photographer Aliza Eliazarov share her perspective on making creative portraiture, conceptual still life and long term documentary images.  With a focus on farming and food, she has worked with leading farmers and food professionals around the world to create compelling and memorable imagery for her clients. Aliza is most recently known for her work as the cover story photographer for Modern Farmer Magazine and personal work on the issue of Food Waste. Some of Aliza’s clients include:

  • Washington Post  
  • The New York Times  
  • Business Insider 
  • The Atlantic  
  • Food & Wine 
  • Saveur  
  • Modern Farmer    
  • Slate    
  • Vitamix    
  • Sasa De Marle   
  • New Republic  
  • Huffington Post   
  • Rangefinder  
  • TakePart 
  • Fortune  
  • CNN  
  • The United Nations  
  • MTV  
  • Robb Report  
  • Audubon   
  • Whole Foods  
  • Edible  
  • Feature Shoot   
  • Flavor Wire    
  • La Lettre De La Photographie   
  • Grace Communications   
  • Quest Magazine   
  • Satellite Magazine   
  • StarChefs - Rising Stars

In 2016, Aliza's series on Alpacas for Modern Farmer won an American Photography 32 Award, as well as the Grand Prize in Rangefinder Magazine's Best Friends Animal Photography Contest. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, including The International Center of Photography, The Pingyao China Photo Festival - 25 Emerging Photographers in America, along with solo exhibitions at The 92nd Street Y, and Fovea Gallery. 


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