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June 10, 2010 Volume 31, No. 31

Farm to table

Good eats

Festival promotes benefits of eating locally produced foods

Eating well is in again. In a backlash against Americans’ excessive fast-food consumption, rising obesity rates and resulting health problems, many Missourians are returning to their culinary roots: fresh food grown by local farmers and prepared to maximize deliciousness.

To celebrate this movement, the University of Missouri is hosting a weekend-long food festival June 12-13 that is packed with gardening workshops, cooking demonstrations, panel discussions and, naturally, a farmers market.

Information on registration, costs and a schedule of events is available online at 

Sponsored by the University Club of MU, University Catering & Event Services and the American Culinary Federation Central Missouri Chapter, the Farm to Table Festival takes place at the University Club. More than 15 chefs, nutrition experts and farmers will give presentations. Speakers include:

The Renegade Lunch Lady, Chef Ann Cooper, who is director of nutrition services for the Boulder Valley (California) School District. Her life’s work is to transform how American children are fed in school, shifting from commodity-based and highly processed food to highly nutritious and wholesome meals that are also delicious.

A chef for more than 30 years, Cooper now uses her skills to encourage a sustainable model for nutritionally sound school lunch programs nationwide.

The Renegade Lunch Lady leads the seminar “Improving Our Children’s Nutrition” at 3 p.m. June 13, followed by a 4:15 p.m. book signing.