Blustery conditions did not deter an inspired, engaged and spirited crowd from gathering Wednesday night at GT Circuit for the first ever Dinner, Debate and Discourse hosted by Chef Loghan Call of Planted Cuisine. With a focus on sustainable food systems, examining local food economies, considerations of consumption, concerns of fair wages, support within our community and where that circle of influence should extend. A softer launch into the concept of a debate – encouraging difference of opinion in a respectful manner, welcoming varied view-points, drawing on personal experience, posting potential solutions – it was clear that the community is craving opportunity to share, to learn and, most encouraging, to act.
It is clear that we live in an area of abundance – of resources, of good intention, of desire for change – and, while there are many amazing and life-changing programs currently underway, there is a tremendous amount of energy still seeking outlet into meaningful work. The audience was ready to share and to inquire, drawing on experience spanning the spectrum with farmers, chefs, parents, teachers, builders, bankers, realtors, therapists, physicians, yogis, administrators all sharing common sentiment that while we have accomplished much here in Traverse City, there is notable disparity, inequity and challenging costs. We acknowledged a community of privilege with nearby neighbors facing struggles we could not even fathom and desiring to influence change for the better on a broader scale.
Food and sustainability as a topic could have sustained a week’s worth of conversation and certainly provides platform for endless discussion encompassing policy, systemic change, grand vision, local detail and questions matched only by the collective frustration with a sense of helplessness and a plethora of underutilized, under recognized and unsupported gifts, talents and capacities.
With attention to the panel, the audience, the topics and the time, Chef Loghan navigated the evening with the same care, thoughtfulness and finesse he applies to preparation of beautiful, nourishing local food, directing the conversation to those programs currently in existence, allowing opportunity for voicing of personal and community concerns, seeking input from both experts and audience on means of engagement on a variety of levels and demonstrating that we are ready for many more opportunities for debate and discourse, leading us to the action we all desire.
What can you do today to support a sustainable food system?
Shop local when you can
Through the Farmer’s Market, Oryana, local products featured at Lucky’s, directly from the farmers such as Providence Farms, who feature a farm market and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture – direct from farm to you) shares.
Support local businesses
Volunteer with currently existing food support options
Investigate policy and communicate with your local, state and national representatives
Dream big and get creative – what are ways you would like to help? What ideas do you have?
Write them down and let’s get together to review them and create a plan – utilizing already existing resources, creating those that are lacking and converting our energy into action and making it a renewable resource that will fuel change for years to come!
Table Health TC will be hosting Town Hall Meetings to foster these conversations and develop meaningful action plans – join us on The Commons, have your voice heard and find strength in the collective to be the change you wish to see in the world!
Lunchtime 12-2pm on Wednesday January 16th and Friday January 25th
Evening 6-8pm Monday January 28th
Participate in future Dinner, Debate & Discourse events – stay tuned at Planted Cuisine for the next date and location!
Much gratitude for Chef Loghan, the panel of experts, the engaged audience and motivated community with hope for the future of our community locally and beyond!
Amelia Bueche, D.O.
Physician & Cultural Health Advocate – Table Health TC