The future of food according to the Prince of Wales

The future of food according to the Prince of Wales

We chat with American environmental activist and author Laurie David about her inspiration to print The Prince's Speech, a manifesto about what's wrong with our food system and how we can make it right.

Last year, HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, delivered a speech at the Future of Food conference in Georgetown, Mass. Laurie David, author of The Family Dinner, was in the audience that day, along with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Wendell Berry (farmer and author). Soon after, David felt compelled to publish the Prince’s speech as a book and she worked with Schlosser, Berry, and Rodale Press to contribute the foreword and afterword.

We asked Laurie David about her motivation to print The Prince’s Speech On the Future of Food, published this February.

newhope360: What do you think makes the Prince's speech so effective and inspirational among other prominent voices for sustainable agriculture?

Laurie David: First of all, it was the timing of the speech. The fact that he had just come off of this gigantic family celebration, but he felt it was so important to deliver this speech that he got on a plane to do so. Secondly, sitting in that room you were really moved by the weight of the words he was saying and how truthful and passionate they were. I'm sure it's not easy for a man in his position to deliver such strong words, but he obviously felt compelled to do it.

newhope360: What was your motivation behind turning his speech into a book? Were there many road blocks during the process?

LD: My motivation was to make sure more people than who was just sitting in that room have the chance to read his words. It's a very powerful experience to sit with a little book like this with a highlighter in your hand and read such a comprehensive manifesto on what's gone and what we can do about it. It's hard not to be changed by it. What few road blocks there were were quickly jumped over.

newhope360: How did Wendell Berry and Eric Schlosser first react when you approached them to pen the foreword and afterword, respectively?

LD: Well they were all in the room that day and had the same visceral response that I did so they quickly and enthuisastically came on board. 

newhope360: Did you learn anything from the Prince’s speech that you didn’t already know?

LD: A lot. Let's start with the fact that I had no idea that he was such an expert in sustainable agriculture or that he was an organic farmer himself. Although I knew some of the information in the book, it was really how he pulled it all together and made such a compelling case against industrial farming and for putting nature back into the equation that really moved me. 


Curious about reading The Prince’s Speech On the Future of Food? The book will be available March 8-11 at the Natural Products Expo West 2012 bookstore in the Anaheim Marriott.

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