As we lead up to the 2016 Change Food Fest, we will be highlighting individuals and organizations hosting Viewing Parties. Viewing Parties have the opportunity to engage with Change Food Fest by livestreaming our speakers from anywhere in the world. Today, we have the opportunity to get to know LET um EAT in Portland, Oregon. Stay tuned to hear about more of our Viewing Party hosts!
Tell us about your organization. What is your mission? Where are you located?
LET um EAT connects Seeders, Feeders and Eaters through our social network and provides in person experiences to help deepen those relationships at our events and on our farm.
We want to build a brand that celebrates and unites the players in the food revolution. So, if you are using the mobile app, eating at one of our events, or you see someone in a kitchen, field or at the market wearing the LET um EAT crown, then you know it means they are working hard and doing their part.
Our team, a mix of six farmers, chefs and entrepreneurs, and the LET um EAT headquarters are located on a 40 acre farm in Canby, Oregon, about 25 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon.
What specific projects are you working on?
We’re about to launch the LET um EAT mobile app, which will be a social network for all of the like-minded and hardworking people in the food revolution. It will be a platform for Seeders, Feeders and Eaters to communicate, collaborate, learn from each other and do business together. Chefs will be able to show what local farms they support and search for the ingredients they need. Farmers will be able to upload their price lists to customers and communicate directly through the app. And everyone will be able to share photos, information and resources using the network.
A big focus for us for the rest of 2016 is going to be promotion and engaging everyone that we know will benefit from being a part of LET um EAT.
What is one way we can make the food system more healthy and fair?
By improving access. You hear about access to healthy, local food a lot, which is absolutely important, but access for farmers is also important. Farmers need better access to information, resources, land, capital and even each other so they can share their resources and improve their businesses. If the food system isn’t healthy and fair for the farmers, where it all starts, then it won’t ever be.
What initiatives within your community are you proud of?
The Culinary Breeding Network, led by Lane Selman in Portland, Oregon, is an incredible organization. Lane is bringing together chefs, farmers and plant breeders to discuss and improve the agricultural and culinary quality of vegetable crops, with a focus on organic and open-pollinated varieties. It’s a lot to wrap one’s head around, but it actually gives plant breeders real-time feedback from people who cook and eat the vegetables so they can select for favorable traits in regard to flavor, texture, color, etc.
What upcoming changes are you most excited about? (e.g., community gardens, farmers’ markets, other cool initiatives)
Introducing the LET um EAT mobile app to Seeders, Feeders and Eaters and seeing what change is possible when all of these people are better connected.
What does a healthy food system look like to you?
It definitely includes people eating more of what’s grown locally and available seasonally. It also involves Seeders and Feeders (most importantly the farmers!) making a living for the incredibly hard work that they do to provide food for their communities. And of course improving access to healthy, quality food for everyone, regardless of economics, location and background.
Why is improving the food system important to you?
It’s absolutely critical. We’re at a point where people are food insecure, food waste is a huge issue, farmers are struggling and… well, the food system is broken.
What is boils down to is that we need a major shift in our culture and relationship to food. It’s very encouraging and exciting that there are so many people out there doing incredible things for the food revolution. But those people need to be empowered and we need to make sure that their ideas and initiatives are making as big an impact as possible.
What part of the fest inspires you most?
That the fest brings together an interesting collection of Seeders, Feeders and Eaters to talk about real solutions to inspire a sustainable food system. These people know what the issues are first hand and will inevitably have interesting insight and opinions to share. Looking forward to it!
Find out more on the LET um EAT website and follow them on facebook for more information and updates!
Interested in hosting a Viewing Party yourself? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or register at any time leading up to November.
The Change Food Fest “Growing the Good Food Movement” will take place in New York City on November 12 and 13, 2016. We will explore and celebrate change happening in the food system. Rather than simply talk about problems, we will actively look at solutions that are leading us to the sustainable food system we wish to see. Our focus will be on both real and visionary change and will include an exploration into seafood, plant based vs meat diets, possible impacts of new businesses and investment money coming into the food space – and much more. You can purchase a ticket or host a viewing party of the live webcast in your local community. Follow the action at #CFFest2016!