On Nov. 14, the Harvard Food Law Society, Environmental Law Society, and the Environmental Law Review hosted the Boston premiere of the PBS special “Heirloom Meals’ Thanksgiving.” The documentary, which aired on PBS stations around the country this week, celebrates how different cultures in America give the holidays their own special flavor.
At HLS, two panel discussions focused on sustainability and responsible food production, and holiday traditions preceded the premiere.
Carole Murko, who created and produced the documentary, moderated a panel discussion on the themes in the documentary. The panel, which focused on food as connector, featured Amy Traverso of Yankee Magazine and Louisa Kasdon and Sara Baer-Sinnott, leaders of blogs dedicated to the healthy ways people embrace and enjoy food today. Kasdon argued that while food, especially at the holidays, provides a connection to family and place, it is also a connector to health, environment and politics. Everyday, she said, “we get to vote with mouths and forks.”
Sue McCrory of WBUR’s Public Radio Kitchen moderated the opening panel focused on sustainable and responsible food production. Panelists included Emily Broad ‘08 of the Harvard Health Law & Policy Clinic, and leaders from companies dedicated to excellence in sustainable food production, including David Waters, CEO of Community Servings in Boston, a social service agency preparing and delivering 1,000 free meals a day with an emphasis on locally sourced farm ingredients, and Jesse LaFlamme, president of Pete & Gerry’s Organics. LaFlamme attributed his company’s success to partnerships set up with other farmers. Because of these types of partnerships, he says, he sees a “bright future for sustainable farmers.”