Gary Nabhan of RAFT to speak Fri. Feb. 26 at WWC
Gary Paul Nabhan, facilitator-founder of the Slow Foods project Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) is giving a free public lecture on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 pm in the Canon Lounge on the campus of Warren Wilson College. RAFT is advancing the issue of how food diversity is key to regional food security, especially in a time of rapid climate change. It inspires and supports "foodshed communities" to recover their endangered heritage foods and return them to fields, streams, orchards, restuarants and tables. RAFT's continent-wide analysis has documented that Appalachia is the most biodiverse foodshed or ecoregion in North America, but that many of its culinary treasures are increasingly endangered due to land use changes and climate change. In particular, Nabhan will announce the launch of a Forgotten Fruits Recovery Challenge to Appalachian communities to find, plant, restore markets and culinary uses for nearly 100 heirloom apples unique to the region. Success stories involving students and community members will be highlighted.
Nablan will be on campus working with WWC students Friday and Saturday around the issues of native food species discovery and conservation. He will be teaching students about how they can bring endangered heritage foods back to their communities, fields, streams, orchards and tables. Over three thousand food plants and animals unique to North America are
currently threatened and endangered, and at risk of falling from our tables for good, as the passenger pigeon has already done. Whether wild or cultivated,
these heritage foods can be recovered through collaborative conservation efforts that engage local citizens and student groups, restorationists and
farmers, chefs and conservation biologists. This discussion will focus on tangible actions you can take to identify, locate and recover the foods
at risk in Appalachia--the most biodiverse foodshed remaining in North America. We will outline the adopt-a-food approach of identifying what rarities still occur in
your locality, "rafting" them over to the Slow Food Ark of Taste, and beginning recovery of their habitats, populatiions and culinary uses.
More on RAFT
Founded in 2004, the RAFT Alliance brings food producers, chefs and consumers together to develop and promote conservation strategies, sustainable food production, and awareness of our country's unique and "at risk" foods and food traditions.
We aim to promote and ensure that the diverse foods and traditions unique to North America reaches our tables by means that make our families and communities healthier and our food system more diverse: ecologically, culturally and structurally. We focus on clusters of foods at risk that we feel we have a capacity to recover, using models of discovery, recovery and sustainability that may inspire others to do similar work. http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/details/raft/