The conference had a good sense of unity, at least compared to what it could have been. There were a couple times when disagreements between the speakers were evident, but over all it was handled nicely. I thought they did a good job a balancing different aspects of food, having theologians, nutritionists, farmers, chef, etc... I especially liked Chef Francis Foucachon’s talks, covering the culture of relational and enjoyable eating, using the French as an example often. He showed the great benefits when food is eaten in relationship with God and man with joy, and not merely eaten as fuel or eaten with individualistic focus. Doug Phillips’ talks were good and vision setting, showing, I thought, many similarities with my book, and striving to keep unity among the body of Christ while we move forward. Joel Salatin was there and gave several talks. It seemed like he didn’t start out very smooth in his talks, but got better as he got used to the crowd. I liked his messages and it was good to see someone that has been working at reformation in this area for a while, although there was an occasional thing here and there, I think mostly in his last talk, that I might disagree with. Gary Powers was also a notable speaker, addressing the basics of health and stressing the importance of keeping health in mind while making decisions, decisions which are often simple, but hard.
The conference had its fun parts as well. Colin Gunn completed his search for the greatest food in the world and ended up with haggis (video). I think it was the first time that Joel Salatin started a talk at 9:45pm next to a plate of haggis. At the end of the conference I was able to play some music (penny whistle) with Joshua Phillips and the Winton brothers who had been playing music throughout the conference. We played “The Roast Beef of Old England” and “Parting Glass.” Some of the other songs they had played were “Five Pounds of Possum” and “Gluten, You’re the Devil” (a parody on “Whiskey, You’re the Devil”). After playing “Roast Beef” Doug Phillips asked me to the podium to briefly to talk about my book.
You can find the recordings of the conference (which will only be for sale until August 7th) here (CD) and here (mp3).
And of course you can buy my book on this site here (paperback or PDF).