Safe and Healthy Food Choices: Educating and Empowering Families in an Era of High-Tech Food Production

Hilltown Families presents…

Safe and Healthy Food Choices:
Educating and Empowering Families in an Era of High-Tech Food Production

A Community Conversation with Local Food Advocates
Tuesday, May 29th in Williamsburg

“The effort to push back against GMOs begins at the family level. There is so much policy change that needs to happen locally, nationally and internationally, but the heart of resistance to GMOs lies with ordinary families making everyday decisions,” says local food advocate Jennifer Hartley, founding board member of Grow Food Northampton. “Through mindful attention to the foods we grow and purchase and the local economies we support, we can take matters into our own hands, directly supporting the well-being of our children and communities.”

Hilltown Families presents Safe and Healthy Food Choices: Educating and Empowering Families in an Era of High-Tech Food Production on Tuesday, May 29th from 7-9pm in the Hawks~Hayden Community Room at the Meekins Library, 2 Williams Street in Williamsburg, MA (FREE). This community conversation will feature three local food advocates highlighting the health risks of genetically modified food (GMO) in children,  and how informed families are the best hope for reversing the flow of GMOs into our food supply.

Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in the European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world. A recent poll released by ABC News found that 93 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.  As ABC News stated, “Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare.”

When Hilltown Families readers were asked if they felt genetically modified food should be labeled,  they expressed their concerns over GMO foods and concurred that it would be beneficial to have it labeled. Kara Kitchen, mother of twins, writes, “Grocery shopping has become a research project with conflicting data, poor funding, and high costs (to our pockets and our lives!). I know I spend much more time at the store now from reading almost every label in my cart!” And Jennifer Lee Wildermuth agrees that GMO foods should be labeled, writing, “It would save us a lot of time researching what is safe.”


Co-sponsored by the Hilltown Non-GMO Working Group

On Tuesday, May 29th from 7-9pm, community herbalist and food activists Tony(a) Lemos, director of  Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, will begin our community conversation sharing information of how GMO foods impact the development of our kids and the our wellness as adults. — Following Tony(a), Ed Stockman will get to the heart of the issue of GMO foods.  His presentation will cover the lack of labeling and regulations of GMO foods, long-term safety studies the FDA overlooks, the prevalence of genetically engineered crops in our food supply, how it contributes to the  increase in childhood allergies, and how consumers, especially families, can play an important role in stopping the genetic engineering of our food supply. —Concluding Ed’s presentation, Jennifer Hartley will offer local resources and vehicles of empowerment to our community and families.


Tony(a) Lemos

Community herbalist and food activist Tony(a) Lemos, is the director of Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA, a small school which offers a unique perspective on herbalism; weaving social and political aspects of health and healing through the study of medicinal herbs and food practices.  Tony(a) maintains a clinical herbal medicine practice focused on pediatric health and well-being and is a popular presenter at several local and national herbal conferences.  She has served as vice president of NorthEast Herbal Association.  A lover of real food, in 2003 she traveled to India to study worldwide food politics with Vandana Shiva.  She has organized the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Organization, bringing together community through local food activism.

Ed Stockman

A biologist with forty years experience in organic farming, Ed Stockman is one of our region’s leading educators on GMO issues.  Basing his presentations on the work of Jeffrey Smith (author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Food), Ed speaks at agricultural conferences, universities and community events around the Northeast.    Ed served as the Northeast Organic Farming Association/Mass Chapter “Organic Extension Educator” for six years, and was named the NOFA/Mass “Person of the Year” in 2012 for his work in educating the public about GMOs.

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer Hartley is a homeschooling mother, radical homemaker, permaculturally-inspired gardener and local food activist.  She was a founding board member of Grow Food Northampton, and lives on a budding, quarter-acre homestead with her family in Florence, Massachusetts.  A former reference librarian, she loves to connect people to the resources they seek.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Darwin Bell]

2 Comments on “Safe and Healthy Food Choices: Educating and Empowering Families in an Era of High-Tech Food Production

  1. Great idea, Emmy! It would be terrific if more policy makers and food service directors would join in on this important conversation. Everyone should feel encouraged to invite these important community members to this presentation!

  2. Here’s a thought–try forwarding this post to the food service people at your kids’ schools. I sent it to our food service Director, and she is interested in coming!

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