Suppose you had a deli near downtown Flint that was looking for an environmentally friendly source for lettuce, tomatoes and other toppings for its sandwiches. Currently, those items have to travel a long way by truck before they become part of a Flint-made sandwich. That means using gasoline and other forms of energy to get the food items to the deli. However, if there was an empty lot next door to the deli, you could consider growing those foods right there. Can't get much fresher.
Next door to Flint's Hoffman's Deco Deli & Café is an empty lot that is part of the University of Michigan-Flint Urban Alternative House (UAH), and turning part of that lot into an urban garden plot to service the deli with fresh vegetables is the goal of a collaboration of organizations working with the university. The Earth and Resource Science Department, University Outreach and the Genesee County Land Bank are joining with Hoffman's to examine the possibility of creating a sustainable local food system in the center of Flint.
The garden project announcement leads off a day of special presentations that take a closer look at "the food we eat."
David A. Kessler, M.D. will be part of a special panel discussion that will look at what's needed to eat better. Dr. Kessler is Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He has studied the reasons why humans overeat, even going to the extreme of "dumpster diving" behind chain food restaurants to find the ingredients in the food. His recent book, "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite" offers new insights into a common problem. Dick Randall of the Flint Farmer's Market will join Dr. Kessler and other distinguished guests on the panel.
Dr. Kessler is also the speaker for the first, in a series of five Critical Issue Forums, and will join a special discussion group that is open to the public following his luncheon presentation.