South Florida is a throwaway place. You can see it in the litter on the roadside, the low-rent construction that will be gone in a decade, and the bustling fast-food joints that use more paper and styrofoam than all of China.
Earth Learning, a local group that promotes sustainability and ecological learning, thinks all of that should end. The group will host a two-day food summit to gather ideas about how to make South Florida more sustainable. "The main goal is to really envision what we want our local food system to look like and, given what's already in place, figure out what we need to get there and come up with an action plan," says Earth Learning founder Mario Yañez.
The summit will be held July 12 and 13 at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College and is open to government officials, chefs, restaurant owners, farmers, grocers, and pretty much anyone interested in our local food system. Keynote speakers include Mark Winne -- cofounder of the Community Food Security Coalition and author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty -- and Peter McDermott, founder of Urban Growth Farms.
Says Yañez: "If we had a true local food system, our economy will pick up like crazy. All the businesses that could be created and the farms that could be viable... it would be an incredible engine for South Florida's economy."
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But the summit is just the beginning. Yañez plans to organize seasonal meetings following the summit. For a draft agenda and to register, visit Earth Learning. Cost is $80.