Student Environment Centre’s Annual Conference

Food is FUNdaMENTAL : A Conference on Mouths, Minds, Development and UBC Farm

The Student Environment Centre (SEC) and Friends of the UBC Farm (FOF) are thrilled to be hosting a conference at the end of September entitled “Food is Fundamental”. The conference is being held to educate, discuss and take action on pressing “food issues” that concern people, the environment and the economy in both local and global contexts. The timing of the conference is no coincidence as it is also meant to bring immediate attention to the situation at the UBC Farm as it is being considered for private residential development. In addition to calling these potential development plans into question, we are addressing publicized and popular food topics as well as those that are considered to be extreme or “on the fringe”, but are in fact resurging agrarian values and perspectives. In summary, we want to talk about FOOD! We want to create a dialogue that connects soil and land to our plates and we want to address the need to eat and live healthily and happily with significantly lessened adverse effects on the planet, people and our companion species.

Our speakers are all local, with one exception, and will be presenting on topics such as “dubious foods”, food crises, food sovereignty, the politics of genetic engineering, fisheries, First Nations and native foods, and many more areas of interest. Additionally, we understand it is one thing to talk about ecological, social, and economic responsibility and consciousness; it is quite another to actually live it. And whether it is intentional or unintentional, in virtually every aspect of our lives, we are currently supporting an economic system that inherently depletes, ignores and manipulates nature. This is especially true with our current industrialized and profit-driven systems of food production, distribution and consumption. There are however, many ways of condemning, resisting, and changing these systems. This must all begin the most basic and necessary form: personally and communally practicing a lifestyle and culture of food that does not endorse or support oppressive, violent, and irresponsible food-systems. This is exactly why the final and largest day of the conference, Saturday, September 27th, will be mostly workshops on subjects like: “alternative eating”, reducing and using food waste, growing your own food, brewing your own beer, how to shop responsibly and consciously etc. and what better venue to hold these workshops on than the UBC Farm, where talk and practice meet.

This conference will be a week filled with interesting and engaging learning, teaching, discussing, entertainment, fun and eating for everyone, so please, come join us at the conference because, indeed, “Food is Fundamental”!

Dates: September 23rd-27th

For schedule details and registration:

To volunteer during or before the conference email: or come to our weekly meetings: Tuesdays @ 12:30pm, SUB 245

Some Conference Highlights:

Tuesday, September 23, 12 – 2pm (Norm Theatre): Panel discussion on first nations food sovereignty

Thursday, September 25, 12-2pm (SUB 214/216): Panel discussion on GMO foods

Friday, September 26, 12 – 2pm (SUB Ballroom): A presentation by Nancy Knight about campus sustainability

Saturday, September 27, 10 – 1 (UBC Farm): Workshops, farm tours, presentations, and music

Saturday, September 27, 1:30-6:30 (MacMillan): Keynote speakers, presentations, workshops and free dinner by community eats


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