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Let's Put Healthy Food on the Agenda -- and in the Curriculum

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good, healthy food was on the menu -- and on the agenda -- this month (March 3) when EWG staff and key supporters gathered in San Francisco for a sumptuous meal and lively discussion at EWG’s 2010 Earth Dinner. The goal of the Earth Dinner was to introduce the audience of environmental stalwarts to the increasing convergence of EWG's two major fields of work -- how common toxic chemicals find their way into the bodies of America's children and the impact of modern agriculture on the environment and human health.

As EWG President Ken Cook said in his invitation:

Our children expect us to take care of the basics. Clean air and water, healthy food, safe homes, schools and playgrounds and an unclouded future. Our responsibilities are straightforward – but hardly simple. Only by working very hard and working together can we hope to rid our water and food of pesticides, remove pollutants and industrial chemicals from our environment and create a stronger economy powered by green energy.

Mr. Cook's dinner presentation, Food System Reform As If the Eaters Mattered, discussed the politics of food, water and everyday consumer products – and what it all means for our health, children and the environment. Alice Waters (pictured with Mr. Cook), celebrated chef, advocate, author, mother and pioneer of “The Edible Schoolyard” program in Berkeley, Calif, attended the Earth Dinner event. Mr. Cook payed homage to her impact on cuisine and the food system as a whole in his presentation.

EWG has built a national following of people interested in how the environment affects their health and their family’s wellbeing. EWG’s 2010 Earth Dinner was the first of its kind in the Bay Area. The hope is to hold the event annually and continue discussions on toxins in our everyday personal care products and our dysfunctional modern food system.

The menu included only food farmed with environmentally friendly practices from local companies: Organic Valley, CleanFish, Earthbound Farm, One Fort Mason, Springhome.com, Frey Vineyards, Mendocino Brewing Company, Boisset Wines, VeeV and Living Room Events.

The sold-out Earth Dinner also would not have been possible without the generous support of our host committee, made up of community leaders and tireless advocates for better, simpler and healthier living. Committee members include Steven Addis, Meg Bertero, Eleanor Bigelow, Sally Bingham, Gabrielle Bravo, Jennifer Caldwell, Jenny Emerson, Christine Gardner, Frank Gerber, Carrie Gretsch, Gabrielle Layton, Leigh Matthes, Marie McGlashan, Carol McDonnell, Drummond Pike, Sandie Schmaier, Laura Spivy and Meredith Wingate.

Pictured above: EWG committee member and supporter Leigh Matthes, Ken Cook and Alice Waters.