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Food, glorious food: Stanford's first food summit

In preparing for my latest 1:2:1 podcast with health researcher Christopher Gardner, PhD, about Stanford's first-ever food summit, I wondered: When did food become summitable? Weren't summits grand, official events hosted by global leaders on geopolitics? Food. Isn't food just sustenance?

Well, it turns out, the Stanford Summit was tremendously successful. (More than 350 Stanford scholars attended from across the University's seven schools.) Gardner will be hosting another food conclave in the fall to advance the discussion from the first session and to explore ways in which Stanford scholars can assist the local community on food issues.

And now Gardner has helped me connect the dots in an interesting conversation about why we should all be thinking about food outside the, er, lunch box.

Think about it: Food is far more than fuel for our bodies. It's a global conundrum pitting the haves against the have-nots. Global food prices are grossly inflated right now. Food trucked or flown hundreds or thousands of miles for the wealthy consumer is bad for the environment. Methane gases from huge industrialized animal farms further harm the atmosphere. The slow food movement is growing not only here in California but across the nation. Food and Society is now a course taught here at Stanford.

Food is political. Food has arrived. Time for lunch.

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