Sustainability Conference Preparation

Sustainability Conference Preparation

Please prepare to attend Sustainability Conference on Friday, March 27th (the first Friday after Spring Break). Instead of holding class that Friday, you are expected to attend at least one workshop and/or presentation at the Sustainability Conference (a minimum of 50 minutes) during the conference (either Thursday or Friday). Please check out the conference schedule and note at least one workshop you would like to attend THAT WORKS WITH YOUR CLASS/PERSONAL schedule. There are some that are during our normal class time, so you should be able to find something.

Additionally you are encouraged to pre-register. It is free for students, however if you would like to add a local/organic lunch or register for the Hydro-Garden workshop there are fees for that. All information can be found at

Please write in your assignment what you plan on doing at the conference.

B. Monsanto

In the last decade one food-related-corporation whose name has become publicized is Monsanto. Reflect on what you have heard about this company (even before reading about it) – including both positive and negative associations. Then read an overview by Lessley Anderson of the company entitled Why Does Everyone Hate Monsanto?

Discuss in writing (1-2 paragraphs) the history of Monsanto, what they support and reflect on their negative reputation. One aspect of this is their support of GMOs – what do you/did you know of these? Are you familiar with other Monsanto critiques? How does this tie in with the chapter you are reading this week by Bodley.

C. Commercial Factory Food Systems

After reading Bodley Chapter 5: Commercial Factory Food Systems, answer the following questions:

1. What are the major differences between factory farms and smaller scale farms (including horticultural, or swidden, production)? Choose one food item (e.g. beef) and discuss its production/distribution in the factory system. Why is this not always energy efficient?

2. This class is entitled “Power and Scarcity” – reflect on “power” and “scarcity” with regard to today’s food industry. Please provide at least two examples from the chapter to support your explanation. In addition, you can use examples from the Book family’s experiences.

D. Watch and Reflect

Watch the Chipotle Commercial entitled “Back to the Start”. Openly reflect on this, in light of what you have read over the past two weeks and what you learned at the Book’s family farm. Do you think returning “Back to the Start” is realistic? What is it going to take for this to happen? What may (need to) happen along the way?