“We are not an advocator of a vegetarian diet or organic vegetarian diet. We are encouraging people to explore an improved eating habit, "said Jian Yi, the founder of the Good Food Fund. Our initiative of "Good Food” has drawn the attention of many people worldwide, including agriculture involvers, vegetarians, innovators and workers of public environmental protection welfare. It is the willingness to improve current situation that brought them together.
Qiu Cheng, an incoming doctoral student in Food System at New York University, was the first presenter of this morning. Her topic focused on“Sustainable Food System.”
From 2012 to 2016, when she worked at International Food Policy Research Institute, she noticed one of the existing problems in the global agricultural industry. Although the total agriculture output is enough to feed the world's population many people suffer from hunger and poverty, because one-third of the foods are wasted before they can get onto dining tables. The percentage of waste is even higher in the US. The present food system causes environmental pollution, poverty, and inequality. As there are very few interdisciplinary studies, Qiu's study of sustainable food revolution in the US was based on a systematic interdisciplinary approach. She actively engaged in eco-agriculture and city-agriculture to practice her studies.
95% of plants grow in soil which is a vibrant microcosm. Our body may also be considered as an eco-system. The number of microorganisms in and on our body exceeds the number of cells that build up our body. There are a lot of germs in our gut. Intestinal flora affects the body's immune system, central nervous system, and endocrine system (associated with many mental disorders). We see a great surge of cases of chronic disease in developed countries because intestinal flora, agriculture, and food structure have changed. 80% of chronic diseases are caused by imbalance of intestinal flora ratio, because intestinal flora likes to eat dietary fiber.
The highlight of Qiu's report is the principles of a healthy diet: to have more plant-based food (especially whole grain and eco-organic food) and less processed food. Food not only means more than the dishes served on our tables, but also refers to the entire process from soil to our stomachs. We should think carefully about the following questions: What is a sustainable food system? How will China's agriculture and food system develop? In history, we relied on traditional intensive cultivation and localized food systems. Now, we rely on chemical fertilizer and more and more industrialized food systems (China is the world's top-one fertilizer and pesticide consumer). In the future, we hope we can build up sustainable agriculture and food system, and encourage more people to join our endeavor to find out an innovative connection between production and consumption. We may also develop a resource-sharing eco-farming system that allows us to fully utilize local resources. Through these attempts, we are building a brighter future in upgrading our agriculture and food system.
What came the next was Jeff Sebo's sharing via Skype video. He is an ethics researcher from New York University. His topic was about food consumption & production and food politics. If industrial farming harms animals' welfare and the environment, do we have the moral obligation to stop consuming these industrially farmed foods? Jeff believed the answer should be "Yes". We would become healthier and happier in that way. However, it is hard to reduce non-essential harm, and even harder to completely elaminate the damage.
Jeff believed that giving up meat would be difficult in the first place. But once getting used to it, we could easily keep such a habit for a lifetime. Since one's effort may not bring significant changes to the community, we can bring these ideas to our family and friends, and then, more and more people will begin to concern about food issues.
Should I stop eating certain foods now? The answer is yes. Everyone can save a lot of lives with a little sacrifice. The price we need to pay is nominal. We'll see significant changes in our health, animal welfare, the environment, and the future through synergy.
If you decide to participate in changing the food system, what method would you use? A “Radical”or“Moderate”one? The Moderate believes that making gradual changes is necessary. The radical approach is too drastic, while the Radical states that the public needs to be awakened urgently, as the current food system needs to be replaced straight away. Otherwise, people would have an illusion that as long as there are small changes, the current food system remains good. As a matter of the fact, according to Jeff, both the Radical and the Moderate are needed in this revolution.
Our attendees showed great enthusiasm in the subsequent Q&A session.
Huang Yinxia, a presenter from Fuzhou, shared her mindfulness dietary salon and courses, vegetarian dinners, parent-child cooking classes, etc.
The CBCGDF representative shared three short stories in his speech, illustrating that they would solve all various problems according to our principle of overall coordination, responsibility, and integrity. The CBCGDF will always be a fervent supporter.
Zhu Rongsheng, a farmer in Chongqing, shared his story of building the Hechuren Vegetable Garden. He lost 10kg after working in the garden for one month. Even though the task was not easy and sometimes the temperature reached 40℃, he never thought about giving up. Then, he explored agricultural methods to control weeds, and gradually built up a vegetable garden ecosystem.
Wang Aimin talked about smart agriculture by digitalizing technologies and adopting big data technics to conduct primary research. They are also doing some fun things, such as visiting botanical gardens, promopting roadside botany, building boxes for endangered plant.
Tang Yujiao shared her own experience about how food had cured her body and soul.
The sharing from " VeggieDorm " focused on creative design and effective execution of events.
Melinda from "Compassion in World Farming (CIWF)" brought an excellent speech on "Farm Animal Welfare".
Jie Li, a core member of the Good Food Fund Roadshow, showed the team's workshops held in more than ten cities in the past few months. Every team member has an acre of land in their hearts, in which the wish of good food could grow prospectively.
“Food is the God for people.”The education about Good Food perspective should start at a very young age. Lin Hongyu pointed out the importance of food and life education for young children.
Wu Anrui played an animal protection video, showing the cruelty of illegally hunting African elephants and Canadian seals. He called on everyone to refuse wild animal products.
Yu Minghui shared microbial organic treatment of waste in cities to build shared green complexes in urban community schools.
Wang Fan shared the whole production process, from planting to brewing of organic soy sauce, and instructed everyone to choose condiments.
Workshop 1: Researching Group
A senior American food researcher, Mia MacDonald, hosted the afternoon's workshop, discussing how to spread our ideas and research. Mia is very experienced in research, communication, writing, entrepreneurship, and broadcasting. She shared her unique insights as follows:
Research can be fun and innovative. Communication must be accurate, credible, and creative. How do we break the barrier to reach our audience?
How do we inspire different thinking and life? How do we affect people who can help accelerate change? How do we deal with mainstream media and social media? Some possible ways are generating new connective cases, data, documentaries, short videos, photos, animations, research and visual arts, data visualization, self-media, offline activities, etc.
Workshop 2: Entrepreneurial Group
The entrepreneurial workshop hosted by an investor, Mr. Liang Zhengzhong, was simultaneously with the Workshop 2. He first started with a series of questions: How do we let our children live a good life? What is the definition of a good model? Mr. Liang then shared how to run a family, followed by his thoughtful opinion about entrepreneurship. He believed that the critical points were partners with mutual goals, real passion in your business, and positive actions. The core of entrepreneurship is management. Proper management requires good morality.
Mr. Liang is answering questions from attendees.
Discussion continued until 10 p.m. of the day.
A delicious meal for the day:
Our chefs and volunteers prepared all this delicious cuisine. Let's see what they are doing.
Writer | 雁雁
Photographer | 凡小野
Editor | 小清