An Ohio Wesleyan University professor will be among thousands of people who will gather in October in Milan, Italy, for “Terra Madre Giovani” (We Feed the Planet), an international effort “to create and redefine ideas and models” for growing food and feeding the world.
Among the “We Feed the Planet” participants will be Christopher L. Fink, associate professor and chair of the Department of Health and Human Kinetics at Ohio Wesleyan University, and Tadd Petersen, manager of farm and food for Seminary Hill Farm, a part of Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio. Fewer than 20 people nationwide were selected as U.S. delegates to the conference.
The four-day event is being held in association with Expo 2015, also known as the World’s Fair.
“As a delegate,” Fink said, “I hope to gain more insight into how I can encourage the young people with whom I work every day to follow their passion for a sustainable, just path to providing healthful, clean, fair food to a growing populace in the face of increasing wealth disparities, food access issues, and concomitant (associated) health concerns.”
Fink, a member of Ohio Wesleyan’s faculty since 2007, also serves as co-chair of The Partnership for a Healthy Delaware County and as a member of the Delaware County Hunger Alliance.
“We Feed the Planet” is organized by the international Slow Food and Slow Food Youth Network nonprofit organizations. Keynote speakers will include Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, and food activists Alice Waters, Tristram Stuart and Raj Patel. Founded in 1986, Slow Food “envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet.”
Fink has been associated with Slow Food since 2010 as both a member and in research work with colleagues in the United States and Italy. He has twice taken groups of Ohio Wesleyan students to Italy to assist in his research as well.
Locally, Fink is working with Petersen to develop a collaborative food studies program. Fink also directs a Delaware food-and-nutrition program called “Cooking Matters,” which operates in collaboration with Columbus-based Local Matters and Washington, D.C.-based Share Our Strength.
“My students work with low-income local residents to create a dialogue about food and cooking, with the goal of helping participants prepare delicious, healthy, budget-friendly recipes to feed their family whole-food, nutrient-dense meals,” Fink said of the “Cooking Matters” program.