Friday, July 27, 2012

The Reformation of Food and the Family

I went to The Reformation of Food and Family Conference hosted by Vision Forum Ministries two weeks ago. I would have written a summery of the conference much quicker, but I went to a few more places afterwards and I have just now returned from traveling. It was a good conference on the subject and I enjoyed meeting with the people there, including many friends. For the conference I shared a table in the vendor hall with Noah Sanders, author of Born-Again Dirt (a book on Christian agriculture). Noah spoke at the conference and I was glad to get to know him and his family more. We were next to the True Food Solutions table that also carried our books. I was able to listen to many of the talks, although there were others that I didn’t get a chance to listen to. To get a more full overview of the conference see Doug’s Blog where there was live blogging from the event.

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).

-Peter B.

1 comment:

  1. We also heard from the Saffas that you and your family had gone to the food conference! That's splendid that you were able to.

    Thank you for telling about the really sounds like it was both a highly informative and enjoyable conference! I must say the topic really interests me since I have also been thinking along the lines of ''reforming food'' in the recent couple years!