Thursday, March 8, 2012

30th Annual Winter Conference Recap and Call to Action

Our Winter Conference last Saturday the 3rd had nearly 600 attendees, our biggest turnout yet!  It was a wonderful event, packed with workshops, vendors, and a great keynote speech by Jeffrey M. Smith.  This week we've been reviewing incoming evaluations from the event, and have had overwhelmingly positive feedback.  If you attended the conference we'd like to give you our most heartfelt thanks for being a part of our largest event of the year and helping to make it really special and momentous. And if you volunteered with us, we want you to know that this event could not have run so smoothly without you.  Thanks to everyone for your continued commitment to local sustainable food and to our mission to provide reliable access to that food for our communities.
Jeffrey M. Smith during his keynote

The big issues discussed at this year's conference are very important.  It is critical that everyone take action and make their voice heard in order to pass legislation currently being discussed in Hartford.  Preventing the repeal of the school pesticide ban and passing the GMO labeling bill are two initiatives that we need your support on in order to succeed.

You have the opportunity to let your state and Federal legislators know that you want to know what is in your food.  
There are at least three levels of GMO labeling initiatives you can be a part of:

1. A Letter from Congress to ask the FDA to label GMOs. Ask your Representative and Senators to sign on.
Click here for an easy pre-written way to let congress know that you want to know what's in your food. Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (OR) have authored a bicameral Congressional letter and will be urging their fellow Members on Capitol Hill to sign onto their letter.

2. A petition to FDA asking them to label GMOs.
A legal petition (Docket # FDA-2011-P-0723-0001/CP) has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the FDA to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. Visit to learn more and to sign!

3. The Connecticut Bill to label GMOs which is closest to home.
The Bill, Officially called HB 5117: An Act Concerning Genetically Engineered Foods, is picking up momentum! Representative Roy first introduced the bill in mid-February and since then several legislators from both parties have expressed support, and Jeffrey Smith was invited to speak on the issue at the Capitol Building on March 2. Now we need Connecticut's consumers and voters to show their support! To find your legislator, click here. You can write your own letter to them, or send ours.

And for those who want to attend something in person:
CT GMO Labeling Bill Informational Meeting and Q&A
What Are GMOs and What Does the Bill Mean for Consumers?
Saturday, March 10, 10-12 noon
Pequot Library, Southport, CT
free and open to the public

Please also contact your state representatives to let them know that you want your children to play on school grounds that are free of chemicals, and that overturning the school pesticide ban is therefore unacceptable.  Working together we can turn the tide of sentiment in our favor.

Two volunteers in yellow participate
in the potluck lunch

If you are working up an appetite from contacting your state representative, check out some recipes from the Winter Conference's potluck lunch we've posted here.  These recipes are centered around winter food, specifically greens, and are a great way to tide yourself over before the heart of planting season begins.  Thanks to Chef John Turenne, farmer Wayne Hansen and Dr. Leigh White for providing these delicious ideas!

Don't forget to check out the pictures of our conference online!

Have a wonderful day!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a fabulous and educational day. Jeffery Smith and Dan Ravicher were real highlights for me!