Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Meeting Topic

The February meeting of the San Antonio Sustainable Living group will feature speaker Leslie Provence. In the SASL's new direction of including all aspects of sustainable living in addition to residential design and green building, Leslie will be inspiring us with considerations of food policy. We might not all be ready to build a green house, but we all eat.

There is a growing awareness that in the mainstream food system, we are no longer in control of what we eat--how it is grown and processed, whether it contains chemical residue or pathogens, where it comes from, and whether it is any good for our health. Many communities in the U.S and Canada have formed Food Policy Councils to examine and change their food systems, for a variety of reasons. From Knoxville (formed in 1982 from a student initiative) to Austin, one of the most recent, many examples exist of ways that citizens can reshape policies and rules to help local growers and processors. Rebuilding a local food system offers not only health and environmental benefits, but also economic development and community-building opportunities.

Leslie's background includes a Masters thesis at UTSA on Community Gardens in Public Housing Properties in 2007 and then attending conferences on community gardening and food security. She has been meeting the leaders and reading books, articles, and listservs on the subject, to learn what is going on in other cities. She has a website and blog where she shares this information, and highlight aspects of San Antonio's great assets and needs in this area. She currently works at USAA as a marketing analyst, and engages in collecting and sharing food policy topics in her spare-time.

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