Peter RuddockArk of Taste Chairman, Slow Food California
He is a sustainable food advocate and small business consultant, who is working toward creating a more sustainable world, by changing the way we interact with our environment and with each other. He concentrates on food systems change, because given that everyone eats everyone should be able to relate to a healthier, more sustainable food system. He believes that there are four areas where he can best work on fostering this change: educating people about sustainability; creating a resilient local economy; creating vibrant local communities; and changing policies to foster such changes. He is active in a number of grass-roots non-profits to help accomplish these goals: Slow Food, Slow Money, Transition Palo Alto, and the San Mateo County Food System Alliance and the California Food Policy Council.
Director of Slow Food’s National School Garden Program
Andrew Nowak was the Project Director for Slow Food Denver’s “Seed to Table” (STT) school food program from 2001-2012, growing the program from four school gardens to more than 60 school sites. Andrew helped to develop a “Youth Farmers’ Market” (YFM) program that appeared in 32 school sites last year and received funding from the CO Department of Agriculture to implement the this model in food deserts in Denver. In addition, Andrew developed the food safety protocols and procedures for the “Garden to Cafeteria” program that allows students to grow produce for the school lunch program and is a model for similar programs around the country. For the past five years, Andrew has been the community partner for Denver Public School’s School Food Learning Lab (School Food FOCUS), helping the District source local foods for the cafeteria, to train the school kitchen staff how to scratch cook and to implement salad bars throughout the district’s cafeterias. In 2010, the governor appointed Andrew to the “Colorado Farm-to-School Task Force”. On the National level, Andrew is a “Hall of Fame Chef” with Share Our Strength’s “Cooking Matters” program and was one of six chefs invited to the White House in 2010 to help develop the “Chefs Move to Schools Program.” He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Iowa and has been a culinary professional for over 30 years.
Lauren HoweSlow Food National School Garden Program Manager
Lauren, a native of Western Massachusetts, joined the SFUSA team in August 2014. She is a 2013 graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, NY where she majored in Environmental Studies and co-founded her college's chapter of Slow Food. Lauren also served as a U.S. delegate to the International Slow Food Conference and International Congress Terra Madre in 2012 and will represent the Northeast Region for a second time at the 2014 world gathering. In addition to SF, she also spearheaded Hamilton's Real Food Challenge initiative, the nationwide campaign/network of student activists working to shift 1 billion dollars in university food purchasing from industrial to “real.” As a 2013-2014 Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Lauren pursued her independent research project "A Sustainable Future for Food and Farming: Modern Technology and Traditional Wisdom" in Tanzania, India, Bhutan, Bolivia, the Netherlands, and Iceland. A yoga and new recipe enthusiast, Lauren is thrilled to move to Denver where she looks forward to taking advantage of all the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing certain foods we keep them in production and on our plates.
Since 1996, more than 1,100 products from over 50 countries have been added to the International Ark of Taste. Over 200 of these foods are from the USA, which is always seeking more edible treasures to include.
The Ark of Taste is a tool for farmers, ranchers, fishers, chefs, grocers, educators and consumers to seek out and celebrate our country's diverse biological, cultural and culinary heritage.
Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program (NSGP) aims to reconnect youth with their food by teaching them how to grow, cook and enjoy real food. Through increased confidence, knowledge gain and skill building, we want to empower children to become active participants in their food choices. By becoming informed eaters, today’s children will help make a positive impact on the larger world of food and farming well into the future.
The goal of the NSGP is to support local Slow Food chapters and volunteers to become more effective in sustaining school garden programs in their community. We hope chapters will serve as a local school garden hub of important resources and volunteer assistance, as well as a connector that facilitates partnerships on the ground. And with generous support from Chipotle Mexican Grill, the expansion of Slow Food USA’s National School Garden Program brings an abundance of resources to Slow Food chapters and schools across the country.