Richards Free Library offers Menu for the Future

vei_menuFor centuries food has been used to mark the change of the seasons, to bring together a family at the end of day and as an integral part of many celebrations. In recent years, food has grown to represent a multi-billion dollar global industry and a point of confusion for many struggling to understand the risks and benefits associated with choices such as organic vs. conventional, meat vs. vegetarian or local vs. global.

In response to a growing need to consider the larger implications of our food choices and understand food’s relationship to sustainability, the Richards Free Library in Newport (NH) and the Vermont Earth Institute are offering a discussion group based on the discussion guide, Menu for the Future. This six-session anthology offers people a unique opportunity to examine the effects of modern industrial agriculture on both human and ecological health, explore emerging food system alternatives, and discuss how we as individuals can contribute to a more sustainable food supply.

This course is the eighth anthology developed by the Northwest Earth Institute of Portland, Oregon for discussion groups. Vermont Earth Institute has organized over 500 course groups since 2000 including one held earlier this year at Abbott Library in Sunapee. It was well attended and enthusiastically received.

“The Menu for the Future discussion series is a great way to broaden your knowledge about food—where it comes from, what goes into it, how we enjoy it—but the series is also an opportunity to learn more about your neighbors and what is happening locally with respect to food,” said Vanessa Bittermann, one of the members of the Sunapee study circle. “I highly recommend it. Members of our discussion group became friends, and we still meet periodically for local, organic community potlucks.”

The first discussion session will be on Thursday, September 17 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Richards Library. For more information and for course books, contact the Richards Free Library at 603-863-3430.

A full description of the course is at

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