Thank you so much to all of our volunteers, attendees, speakers, and sponsors for making this a fabulous evening!
Guests enjoyed Mediterranean platters and cookies from Green Earth Cafe, beans from Better Beans, chipotle lime wraps made with Gardein, delectable cupcakes from Picnic Bakery, olive bread & tapenade from Phoenix Pastaficio, and kale salad, fruit, and veggie burgers made possible by a donation from Rainbow Grocery.
Our program of informative and inspirational speakers began with Lauren Ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project. She spoke about two of FEP’s campaigns: increasing access to healthy foods in low-income areas, and slavery in the chocolate industry. Food Empowerment Project led three community discussion forums in Santa Clara County to learn what’s important and functional for the communities, rather than dictating their needs.
Lauren also revealed shocking information about widespread child slavery in the chocolate industry in West Africa. No informed consumer would want to support this abominable practice, and thankfully Food Empowerment Project has a guide to recommended chocolate. They also have a petition asking Clif Bar to reveal its sourcing practices.
Next we heard from Dana Frasz of Food Shift. Dana is dedicated to tackling the problem of food waste in our society; 40% of all food in the United States is thrown away. This tremendous waste is a severe drain on resources, squandering 25% of all fresh water in the US and 300 million barrels of oil every year. To add insult to injury, the wasted food rots in landfills and causes nearly 25% of all US methane emissions. Food Shift is committed to educating consumers to reduce waste on a household level, and work on a larger systemic level to build coalitions to reduce food waste and increase food recovery.
During the intermission, attendees had an opportunity to bid on silent auction baskets from our generous sponsors:
We also had fantastic raffle items from Beelight Massage, Karine Brighten events, Hair Fix, and Source restaurant.
After the intermission, Katie Cantrell from the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition spoke about the method used to produce 99% of animal products in the U.S.: factory farming. She addressed the devastating impacts of factory farming on animals, workers, and the environment. FFAC gives presentations to schools, businesses, and community organizations around the Bay Area, and makes their presentation available as a resource for activists around the country.
The final speaker of the evening was Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek Foods. Through their project Beyond Eggs, Hampton Creek Foods is working to render egg factory farms obsolete. Beyond Eggs replaces the functionality of eggs in a wide variety of food products using plant-based proteins. Beyond Eggs’s products accomplish the same flavor & texture as products made using eggs, without any of the depleted resources, environmental destruction, or animal cruelty inherent in large scale egg farming. Their work has been endorsed by Bill Gates for working to build a sustainable food system to feed the world’s growing population.
Thank you once again to our speakers:
We could not have held this event without the work of our fantastic volunteers. Special thanks to tech guru Robert Cheifetz, MC Andrew Willis, photographer Michelle Cehn, and artist Erica Grossman.