With only so many hours in each day, the week of Nutracon and Natural Products Expo West/SupplyExpo 2011 is all about making tough choices—about which education events to make time for, which companies to set up interviews with and which networking events to attend . This year, one event I am making a priority to attend is the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s Think Spring! Luncheon Social. The annual event takes place this year from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, in the Third Floor Ballroom “B” of the Anaheim Convention Center.
Fresh, innovative organic food is always a highlight of the OFRF luncheon at Natural Products Expo West. Chef Donna Prizgintas is overseeing this year’s menu, which will feature “Italian fare with a definite Mediterranean flair,” according to OFRF. “As people from colder climes arrive in Los Angeles, we want to get them started on their warming experience with some spicy, citrus flavors and the sense of the sunny Mediterranean,” Prizgintas says. You can check out the full Think! Spring menu on the OFRF website.
Keynoting this year’s OFRF luncheon will be Philippe Cousteau, the 30-year-old son of Jan and Philippe Cousteau Sr., and the grandson of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Philippe Cousteau is the co-founder and CEO of EarthEcho International and Chief Ocean Correspondent for Animal Planet. In his talk, Cousteau will draw connections between our daily actions and the environment and discuss how organic farming and sustainable agriculture are important strategies for protecting our planet.
I’m not surprised to see an ocean conservationist speaking at this year’s OFRF lunch. The organization’s recently appointed executive director, Maureen Wilmot, also hails from the world of ocean conservation and one of her goals as the new head of OFRF is to increase the organization's outreach to other advocacy groups that benefit from organic agriculture. "When you support organic farming practices, you are helping keep the oceans clean," Wilmot told me in November, after taking over the OFRF reins from Bob Scowcroft. "I want to reach out to the ocean and other conservation communities to build a broader base of support for the organic farmers in this country."
Wilmot served as the executive director of the Ocean Wilderness Network and the Seatuck Environmental Association prior to joining OFRF. This year’s event will mark the first OFRF Expo West luncheon under Wilmot’s leadership and will give the organization’s supporters a chance to hear her vision for how organic farming supports healthy food, stronger communities and a cleaner environment.
Order your ticket for the OFRF Think Spring! Luncheon via the OFRF website. This event sells out, so don’t wait to reserve your spot. Hope to see you there!