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What We Eat-And How We Grow It-May Need to Change

Part of Festival Albertine 2019

From the French government’s attempt to increase carbon in the soil, to great chefs working to make their menus responsible, how can this most basic of all human actions help in the climate fight? What we eat—and how we grow it--needs to change. Since agriculture is arguably the planet’s biggest industry, it makes sense that it contributes a mighty slug of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The best guess is that perhaps a fifth of our global warming emissions come from farming, especially the industrial raising of livestock. When cows belch the temperature climbs, but also when rainforest is cut down to make room for pasture. So, what do we do? Some of the answers may be individual—more and more people are choosing to eat less meat or none at all; companies and scientists are suddenly producing meat substitutes that win plaudits from at least some diners. But there are also systematic changes afoot. From the French government’s attempt to increase carbon in the soil to great chefs working to make their menus responsible, to farmers figuring out how to grow local, diverse, and delicious crops, we are seeing the beginnings of real change. Can it scale fast enough to matter, or is industrial agribusiness simply too dominant to allow us the margin we need?

With Perrine Hervé-Gruyer, Raj Patel, and Matthew Raiford. Moderated by Bill McKibben. 

Free with RSVP. Click here to RSVP.

Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. In 1988 he wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a common audience about global warming.  He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, an international climate campaign that works in 188 countries around the world.

Perrine Hervé-Gruyer is a French activist, permaculture teacher, and organic farmer.  After a career as a high-performance basketball player and as an international lawyer, she became interested in permaculture and eventually turned her garden into an organic farm: la ferme biologique du Bec Hellouin. She created her own school of permaculture. She published Permaculture: Guérir la terre, nourrir les hommes (Permaculture: heal the soil, feed the people) in 2014 and Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World in 2016.

Raj Patel is a writer, academic and activist. He is a Research Professor at the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent book, co-authored with Jason W Moore, is A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, (US Press).

Matthew Raiford, a graduate of the New York Culinary Institute of America, returned to the farm in 2011 to create an authentic farm-to-fork experience in the tradition of his Gullah-Geechee heritage. He is a certified ecological horticulturalist and has served as associate professor of culinary arts at the College of Coastal Georgia. In 2015, he, and food alchemist Jovan Sage, opened The Farmer and the Larder restaurant. A frequent presenter at food and wine festivals, Matthew Raiford has appeared in Southern Living, Paprika Southern, and Savannah magazines.

This event is part of Festival Albertine 2019, curated by Bill McKibben. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Festival Albertine is presented in partnership with The Recanati-Kaplan Foundation, the family of Susannah Hunnewell, Van Cleef & Arpels, Air France, Institut français, Chantecaille, Green Mountain Energy, Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York. Generous support is provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Champagne Pommery, InterContinental New York Barclay, Simply Gourmand, Sud de France, and Gérard Bertrand.

Media partner: New York Review of Books.