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Food and Climate Change Day: A Panel Discussion with Anna Lappé

After our sunny celebration at the Better Together Garden at City Hall we braved the two block stretch to the Portland Building for Part Deux of Food and Climate Change Day: a panel discussion with Anna Lappé. Anna Lappé

Diet for a Hot PlanetLappé’s new book, Diet for a Hot Planet, is not only packed with useful information and entertaining anecdotes from Anna’s research, but explores a central issue to the city: the connection between food and climate change. With Portland’s 2009 Climate Action Plan underway, reducing our carbon “forkprint” is key.

Lappé was joined by a diverse panel of four other inspiring individuals working to transform the food system in Oregon and beyond, including: Scott Givot, President of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; Allison Hensey of the Oregon Environmental Council; Chris Schreiner, executive director of Oregon Tilth;

Kumar Venkat, president of CleanMetrics. Steve Cohen, Portland Food Policy and Programs manager, moderated the lively discussion.

The panelists had differing points of view, but agreed that the impact of the food industry on climate change is huge and may be responsible for up to one third of greenhouse gas emissions. It is so expansive that cross industry cooperation will be necessary for any significant change. Lappé’s book offers seven principles of a climate friendly diet and during the panel she revealed a hidden eighth principle that “goes beyond our plate.” A recorded version of the discussion, is available in two parts from our friends at KBOO Community Radio here and here.panelists at Food and Climate Change Day

And check out this video from Net Green News which gives a concise explanation of the connections between food and climate. Casey Hatfield, who stopped by the Garden Rededication, advocates for Lappé’s climate friendly diet and gives a shout out to our Urban Growth Bounty classes (Warning: close ups of fast food included!).

Growing a City Hall Garden

By Cooking Up a Story

Sunday, April 18

City Hall’s Better Together Garden bustled on a usually somnambulant Sunday as thermometers passed seventy for the first time this year and garden enthusiasts gathered for a short ceremony commemorating the 700 square foot edible plot’s first anniversary. Doesn’t seem like 50 weeks since we tore out the lawn, but the calendar says otherwise. We counted.  

Better Together Garden   signJen Aron

Robert Bradley and some of the crew from Elm Court Loaves and Fishes were on hand to personally peruse the produce planned for their plates. Daniel Baca’s ( new garden sign was admired by all and Dave Barmon’s installation is holding it upright…so far. 

Many hands were crucial towards establishing the Garden’s roots and we’re grateful to all the businesses who generously donated their time and resources. Unfortunately, OSU Master Gardener, Jen Aron, couldn’t be at the celebration to accept our accolades for all her work over the past year.

Thanks to gardening gurus from Portland Community Garden program, Growing Gardens, OSU Master Gardeners, Portland Fruit Tree Project, and Oregon Tilth for their snazzy gardening lit, free seeds and edible edifying that pulled passer-bys off the street and set a welcoming tone for the rededication.

Check out the great video from our friends at Cooking Up a Story ( Here’s to another year of a flourishing Better Together garden at City Hall!

By Cooking Up a Story