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Organic Center to celebrate science and politics of food and farming

Celebrity chef and noted sustainable food advocate will highlight Annual VIP Dinner

Maggie McNeil
(202) 403-8514
(202) 615-7997
Washington , DC
January 12, 2015
) — 

More than 500 organic stakeholders will feast on an all organic dinner created by a celebrity chef, listen to a thought-provoking discussion of food politics from a nationally respected sustainable food advocate, hear updates on the latest organic research, participate in science-focused social media festivities, and, for good measure, let loose at an after-dinner bash with a rhythm and blues band on March 5 in Anaheim, California, at The Organic Center’s Annual VIP Dinner.

One of the largest organic business networking events of the year, the theme of this year’s dinner is “Where Science Meets Soul.” Attendees will celebrate The Center’s work to bring to the public eye the scientific findings behind organic food and farming and will learn about current research developments in the organic sector. The annual fundraiser, held in conjunction with Natural Products Expo West, raised more than $500,000 last year for the work of the group.

“This event will be a unique mix of scientific knowledge, delicious food, good company, and inspiration about the ways that organic improves the world,” said Todd Linsky, chairman of the Board of Trustees for The Center and Vice President of Organic Sales for Grimmway Farms and Cal-Organic Farms. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I look forward to welcoming organic stakeholders to this once-a-year celebration and recognition of the hard work of The Organic Center and of the accomplishments of the entire organic sector.”

Designing the menu will be Chef Susan Feniger, a 30-year restaurant industry veteran, celebrity chef, and cookbook author. Feniger is cofounder of the successful Mexican-inspired Border Grill family of restaurants in Los Angeles. She is one of the original Food Network stars, most recently appearing on Season 2 of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” She has collaborated on a half dozen cookbooks, including her latest, Street Food. She was awarded the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Restaurant Association in 2013.

Feniger‘s cooking philosophy: Be adventurous. “Have burning curiosity in the kitchen! Explore! Play with your food!” she said in a recent tweet.

The keynote speaker at the dinner will be Anna Lappé, author of three books, including the national bestsellerDiet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, which links the current conventional food system to global warming and is regarded as one of the best environmental books of the decade. Lappé is widely respected for her work on sustainability, food politics and social change, and with her mother Frances Moore Lappé, leads the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute.

Lappé says that the current global food system is indirectly and directly responsible for 32 percent of global warming, largely because of its destruction of vital sources of carbon sequestration. She notes that organic farming methods can help rebalance the carbon cycle, help reduce global emissions, and foster the kind of biodiverse, robust farms that are resilient in the face of droughts, floods and the other side-effects of global warming and climate change.

“Anna’s mother changed the way we eat and see the world 40 years ago with her book Diet for a Small Planet. Now, Anna is continuing that education and inspiration. We are eager to hear Anna’s message and to engage in the conversations that her comments will undoubtedly spark,” said Margaret Wittenberg, secretary of the Board of Trustees for The Center and Vice President of Global Quality Standards at Whole Foods Market.

Also to be featured at the dinner will be opportunities to explore through social media channels how The Center is driving home the benefits of organic. Beginning with a cocktail reception and ending with an after-dinner party and a dessert lounge, where folks can groove to a live rhythm and blues soul band, the event will provide ample time in a relaxed atmosphere for easy discussion between organic colleagues and the industry’s leading innovators.

Tickets for the dinner are now available and can be purchased online. For more information about the work of The Organic Center, visit its website.

The Organic Center's mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, and to communicate the findings to the public. As an independent non-profit research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association, The Center envisions improved health for the environment and for people through the conversion of agriculture to organic methods.