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ThinkFOOD 2020

Eating to Save the Planet 
Postponed: New Date October 3, 2020


The Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon's Rock presents our 7th annual ThinkFOOD conference on Saturday, April 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ThinkFOOD 7 will feature hands-on workshops with practical takeaways to help you eat, plant, and think about food in a greener way. We'll offer instructional workshops, tastings, and interactive sessions from experts in and around the Berkshires, plus a locally-sourced lunch on campus. 

Brian Donahue, author of A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities and Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University, will give the keynote address. Explore the New England Food Vision or download the full text from Food Solutions New England

The conference is free for all area students and $25 for adults, $35 for the conference plus lunch. ACE credit is available for Simon's Rock students. 

Registration will open in September 2020.


thinkfood panel

Devan Arnold from Sassafras Landcare discusses designing a pollinator garden outside the Fisher Science Center at ThinkFOOD 2019

Soul Fire Farm and Greenagers panelists

Speakers from Soul Fire Farm and Greenagers at lunch at  the 2018 Conference



9:30 a.m. Welcome

9:45 - 10:30 a.m. 
Workshop 1: "Kombucha and Building Community as Makers" with Kayleigh Myer '17, manager of the in-house kombucha program for Scribner's Lodge in the Catskills 
Workshop 2: "Grocery Shopping for a Healthier Planet" with Theresa Munch of Guido's Fresh Marketplace
Workshop 3: "Do Our Food Choices Matter? Exploring the Impact of Local, Organic, and Vegan Eating" with Mo Constantine '18, Master's of Sociology student at Brock University

11:00 - 11:45 a.m.
Workshop 4: "In Pursuit of Running a Green Restaurant" with Laura Rodríguez, sous-chef, and Mark Firth, owner of Prairie Whale
Workshop 5: Best ways to shop green with David Kelly and Jennifer Schwartz of the Berkshire Food Co-op
Workshop 6: "Rethinking the Farm: The Importance of Diversity Above and Below Ground" with Jennifer Phillips, Assistant Professor, Bard Center for Environmental Policy
Workhop 7: "Creating the Regenerative Farmscape of the Future: Planning and Implementing a Regenerative Farm Education, Research, and Practicality Center" with Will Conklin, Director of Greenagers, and Justin Torrico, Farm Manager at Simon's Rock/April Hill

11:45 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Hall, featuring foods from local farms and businesses

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Workshop 8: "Using Law and Policy to Effect Change in the Food System" with Laurie Beyranevand, Director, Center for Agriculture & Food Systems, Vermont Law School (for students)
Workshop 9: "Sustainable Food Waste Disposal and Energy Generation" with Nicole Galambos, Chief Biological Engineer, Vanguard Renewables
Workshop 10: "Growing Gourmet Mushrooms at Home" with Donald McClelland, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Simon's Rock
Workshop 11: "Planetary Limits and Planetary Dictates on Eating" with Gidon Eshel, Research Professor of Environmental Physics at Bard College

1:45 - 2:15 p.m. Break & Transition

Tom Seeley at ThinkFOOD 2019

Keynote speaker Tom Seeley of Cornell University at ThinkFOOD 2019

Keynote Address (2:15-3:30 p.m.)

"A New England Food Vision: Linking Food Justice, Healthier Eating, and Sustainable Farming"

Speaker: Brian Donahue, Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University and author of A New England Food Vision.

The EAT/Lancet "Planetary Health Diet" has stimulated conversation about connections between healthier eating and the health of the planet, centering mostly on reducing meat consumption and our carbon footprint. A few years earlier, "A New England Food Vision" engaged the same issues on a regional basis, also tying them to food justice and community development on the one hand, and protecting the surrounding forest on the other. This talk will give an update on the NEFV, and explore the kinds of policies and investments needed to bring it to fruition. 

For more information, contact Maryann Tebben, faculty in Languages and Literature, at


With signs of climate change all around us, we want to reach for solutions. As an educational institution, Simon’s Rock has a responsibility to teach and model sustainable practices to empower the next generation. ThinkFOOD 7 hopes to connect individuals with practical ways to have a smaller impact on the planet and invite attendees to think collectively about big-picture changes we can make for the future.

-Professor Maryann Tebben,
Center for Food Studies at Simon's Rock

Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors, who helped make this conference possible:

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures
Great Barrington Agricultural Commission
Guido's Fresh Marketplace
Berkshire Grown
The Nutrition Center

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures logo
Great Barrington Agricultural commission
Guidos logo
Berkshire Grown Logo
 The Nutrition Center

Cheeses from local farms.

Cheeses from local farms at the 2017 conference.

ThinkFOOD 2019 student

Student participant at ThinkFOOD 2019 workshop

Additional Resources