On June 25th, Beanstalk videographer Jonny V and I drove over to the Denver Green School to witness Mile High Business Alliance’s Local Food Think Tank. We had attended MHBA’s Local Food Summit earlier in the year, so we looked forward to the opportunity to observe, support and report upon Denver’s growing local food movement again. As you can see from the video above, we had the honor of speaking to some exceptional individuals from throughout the local food community, including Beanstalk Leader and SAME Cafe proprietor Libby Birky.
We also spoke with Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Tinianow about Mayor Hancock’s 2020 plan. The plan has an interesting and ambitious goal, namely to ensure that at least 20% of food purchased in Denver was grown and processed in Colorado by the year 2020. Putting an emphasis on making Denver sustainable through in-state food growth and processing was the topic of the day. After Mr. Tinianow spoke about the Mayor’s goals, a moderator took questions from the crowd of 120 attendees with backgrounds in food production, distribution and retail. The group engaged in discussion about how to define food, what types of processing are positive and what types are negative, and posed some questions to CSO Tinianow about the nature of the goals.
While the specifics of the goals, how to reach them, and the impact they might have on local food, food justice and small growers in Denver remained somewhat unclear, the event represented a unique opportunity for discourse. By bringing inspiring leaders in local food like Grow Local Colorado, The GrowHaus and SAME Cafe into the conversation, the potential for a truly positive and sustainable outcome is stronger. And that means the future could be healthful and very bright.
- Nate Ragolia