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Saving the World

What does sustainability mean to you?

That was the question posed to these panelists on Sunday morning at the Gastronomy by the Bay roundtable entitled Organic Farming and the Food Chain.


Sustainability panel

Organic farmer, Andy Griffin, Mariquita Farm
Organic winery owner Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores Winery (organic since 1990) Julie Johnson
Chef-owner Marsha McBride, Café Rouge
Moderator: Chef, writer and consultant Joyce Goldstein
Chef-owner David Kinch, Manresa
Monterey Fish partner Tom Worthington

As someone who focused on environmental policy in college and law school, I was completely captivated by the discussion and felt like I was back in school all over again—the difference being that these speakers are actually out in the field every day, practicing their trade and staying true to their ideals. There was lots of talk about building relationships, establishing a community, changing immigration policies that affect farms and restaurants, cherishing traditional methods of stewardship while utilizing technology responsibly, instilling ownership and respect in everything one does, having a vision and closing the circle.

Ultimately we discovered that sustainability encompasses a broad spectrum of practices, but in the end, Tom Worthington put it best by advocating that we all must find a way to convince society of the long-term value of paying for the true cost of a product now and only taking what you need.

There’s an inherent beauty in supporting, say, a fishing community that passes its line-catching techniques through its generations, taking only what they need without impacting reproduction so that there’s a constant crop versus a big ship tossing out a net and catching whatever swims into it, or worse, a fish farm full of dirty water and cramped fish.

We know which fish will be the cheapest for our wallet today, but what’s the price for our kids or grandkids?