|Food and Sustainable Prosperity
for the Houston region
A conference on farming, land use, community food security, and local food.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
A Perfect Storm of change, David Crossley
Rising energy prices, rising food prices, global climate change, trouble in suburbia, economic troubles, food safety, and many other drivers are leading to big changes in food production and distribution. This will be an overview of global, US, Texas, and Houston region dynamics that suggest a new paradigm is coming and just in the nick of time.
Keynote: The Relocalization of America's Food, John Ikerd
Until a few decades ago, the American food system was largely local. By the 1960s, however, supermarket chains had replaced the local “mom and pop” grocers, by the 1970s, fast food franchises were “freeing housewives from their kitchens” and by the 1990s, industrial agribusinesses had replaced family farms as the nation's major food producers. The days of cheap fossil energy are over and the ecological consequences of corporate industrialization can no longer be ignored. The food system is being transformed from industrial-global to sustainable-local. Addressing the ecological, social, and economic challenges of the twenty-first century eventually will require the relocalization of America's food.
Paper (pdf) Dr. Ikerd did not use a powerpoint presentation during his talk
A Marketing Perspective on Trends Toward Local Food, John Park
The market issues driving the trend toward increased retail sourcing of local food are discussed. Some of this is industry driven and much is consumer driven. Pertinent questions are what are the driving factors? Is the market sustainable from an economic perspective? What are the issues with retail sourcing of local food?
The Return of the Family Farm and Local Markets - the economic development potential of producing food within 150 miles of Houston, Chuck Wemple
Public demand for farmers markets, the desire for locally grown foods, rising fuel prices, and rising concerns over food safety present farmers and food producers with fantastic opportunities to fill niche markets. What foods are grown, harvested and processed within 150 miles of Houston? Why is buying local important to our economy, our health, and our future?
The Bio-Physical Architecture for a Healthy Houston Region: Soil, Farm, Community, John Jacob
Some of the best farmland in the world will be lost as Houston more than doubles in size in the next 20-30 years. Not only will good farmland be lostour best examples of extant coastal prairies and flatwoods will also be lost to the over 1000 square miles projected to be paved over during this period. What does this loss mean for the health of the land and our community?
Shifting to Locally Produced Food, Bob Randall and Gary Edmonson
The Greater Houston area has a year round growing season, balanced rainfall, and large amounts of potentially productive land. Highest quality vegetables, fruits, culinary herbs, livestock and dairy animals all thrive in our region. All of us could benefit from bountiful local food production if we can make production economically rewarding for farmers in both rural and urban settings. This talk focuses on steps needed to increase the number of food producers in all parts of the Greater Houston area.
12:15 The Reality of Hunger in Houston, John Kreger