46th Annual Nobel Conference: Making Food Good

Posted on September 13th, 2010 by

Some of the world’s leading food experts, scholars, and researchers will headline the 46th annual Nobel Conference, Making Food Good, at Gustavus Adolphus College Oct. 5-6. The seven individuals invited to present at this year’s conference will examine the question “what makes food good?” from a variety of vantage points, including those of nutrition, taste, health, agricultural biodiversity, and food security.

For more than four decades, Gustavus has organized and hosted the two-day Nobel Conference, which draws about 6,000 people to the college campus in St. Peter, Minn., and links a general audience with the world’s foremost scholars and researchers in discussion centered on social and ethical impact of issues in the natural and social sciences.

“What makes food good? Because of its flexibility, the question enables us to consider the most pressing food concerns and controversies of our day – concerns that often seem to come in direct conflict in the lives of individual eaters,” conference chair Lisa Heldke said. “Why do food insecurity, hunger, and starvation persist – and why are women and children still among the most likely to experience food insecurity? Is “eat local” really the way to transform the industrial agro-food system? How can we ensure the future health of our food plants? What does the taste of our food have to do with our health?”

The schedule for this year’s conference is as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 5

  • 10 a.m.: Nutritionist Marion Nestle
  • 1 p.m.: Crop diversity conservator Cary Fowler
  • 3 p.m.: Obesity researcher Jeffrey M. Friedman
  • 5:45 p.m.: Screening of documentary Farming Forward
  • 6:30 p.m.: Minnesota Food Forum
  • 8 p.m.: Nobel Conference Concert

Wednesday, Oct. 6

On Tuesday evening, conference attendees will enjoy a variety of activities. At 5:.30 p.m., Farming Forward, a documentary film produced by Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Martin Lang and junior student Ethan Marxhausen will be shown in the Lund Center Arena. The film brings together people from several Minnesota farms to examine the role of sustainability in the future of farming.

The Minnesota Food Forum, “Building a Food-Secure Minnesota: Proposals from the Front,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Lund Center Arena. A panel of four will discuss how Minnesota residents can work together to ensure access to safe, affordable, delicious, culturally appropriate food for all residents of the state. Panelists include St. Peter Food Co-op General Manager Margo O’Brien, Thomas Nuessmeier from Triple River Producers, Mitch Davis from Davisco Foods International, and Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing at Sysco Minnesota Jeff Larson.

The Nobel Conference Concert, “Making Food Good: Courses of a Culinary Cabaret,” will take place at 8 p.m. in Christ Chapel. This year’s concert will sample the fruits of a long and often-colorful relationship that composers have had with food, spices, beverages, and imaginative combinations thereof.

Tickets for the conference are currently on sale and can be purchased by going online to gustavustickets.com. A limited number of reserved ($100) and non-reserved ($60) tickets for the main arena are still available. Overflow seating is also available.

Tickets ($30) are also available for the Nobel Conference Banquet which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 in the Evelyn Young Dining Room. Frances Moore Lappé’s presentation close out the conference following the banquet.

For those unable to attend the Nobel Conference, this year’s entire conference will be webcast live at gustavus.edu/nobelconference.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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