April 15, 2010

Contact: Conference organizer and NNY Regional Foods Specialist Bernadette Logozar, 518-483-7403; conference keynote presenter Jennifer L. Wilkins, 607-255-2730

Creator of first regional food guide in U.S. to speak at NNY events May 6, 7 & 8

Jennifer L. Wilkins, Ph.D., R.D., with Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences will keynote the consumer-oriented “Eating Local Yet? Finding and Using Local Foods” conferences set for:
  • Thursday, May 6, 5:30-8:30pm, Plattsburgh High School, Rugar St,
     Plattsburgh, NY;
  • Friday, May 7, 5:30-8:30pm, Eben Holden Hall, St. Lawrence
    University, Canton, NY (map: www.st.lawu.edu/campusmap/#)
  • Saturday, May 8, 10am-3:30pm, Case Junior High School,
    Watertown, NY.

According to Wilkins, creator of the first regional food guide in the United States, “It is a good idea to learn how to eat locally for several important reasons: your health, the health of your community, and for a sustainable future.”

Wilkins directs the Cornell Farm to School Research and Extension Program, for which she received a Dannon Institute Award for Excellence in Community Nutrition. She also directs the Cornell Cooperative Extension Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

Wilkins’ work focuses on how local food systems impact public and personal health, environmental sustainability, and well-being. The areas she is currently evaluating include the motivations of and benefits to food service directors participating in farm to school programs and the nutritional difference between local and long distance-transported fruits and vegetables.

Among Wilkins’ topics at the May events in Northern New York will be how to plan a diet with localism and seasonality in mind, the health aspects of eating local foods, and how a local food system supports community food security.

Wilkins was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2004 to 2006.
In her monthly column, The Food Citizen, for the Albany Times Union and Ithaca Journal, Wilkins has written about the need for public food education and the need to “declare our food source independence.”

Joining Wilkins at the May programs will be:
  • conference organizer and NNY Regional Foods Specialist Bernadette
     Logozar explaining the “language of local foods” – what do local,
     organic, natural, grass-fed and other labels mean
  • nutritionist Martha Pickard of the Adirondack North Country
    Association with tips on “how to get the most nutritional bang for your
    buck with local foods”
  • local chefs and farmers talking about how to buy meat from local
    producers, what cuts to ask for and how to cook them
  • NNY regional chefs presenting seasonal menu planning how-to.

The conference agenda includes networking time with locally-grown and locally-made finger foods for tasting during the Thursday and Friday evening programs, and a “Healthy Local Foods Lunch” on Saturday.

Pre-registration for the conference is required by May 1, 2010. The $10 registration fee covers the evening and Saturday conference refreshments and materials. For more details and to register for the conference in Plattsburgh, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Clinton County at 518-561-7450; for the conference in Canton, CCE St. Lawrence County: 315-379-9192; and for the conference in Watertown, CCE Jefferson County: 315-788-8450.

For more tips on selling food locally, go online to the Regional/Local Foods section of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org. #