Good Food = Local, Sustainable, Humane & Fair Sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of IL and Whole Foods Market
Shop, eat, learn, network and grow the Good Food movement at FamilyFarmed’s 14th Annual Good Food EXPO in Chicago on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24! Information and schedule highlights of this leading national event — which promotes a healthier, more environmentally sustainable and more economically dynamic food system — are below.
FRIDAY, MARCH 23
The Good Food Trade Show: Production, Policy & Industry Exchange kicks off the two-day Good Food EXPO on Friday, March 23 (8:30 a.m.–7 p.m.), focusing on key business and policy issues affecting the Good Food market. The Trade Show features the Good Food Marketplace, at which exhibitors will participate and where buyers and sellers make valuable contacts. That evening, attendees will have the chance to build business relationships at the Good Food Industry Networking and Meet the Buyers Reception (5-7 p.m.).
- Good Food Trade Show: Production, Policy & Industry Exchange will include an Opening Symposium focusing on organic and regenerative agriculture, which advocates farming techniques that build soil health, prevent erosion, and sequester carbon in soil to reduce global warming.
- FamilyFarmed presents its Good Food Business of the Year Award to Arran Stephens, Co-founder and CEO of Nature’s Path, the largest organic cereal company in the world.
- The Policy Conference features a panel discussing the new Chicago Good Food Purchasing Policy, with participants who played key roles in persuading city officials to enact the law, as well as a panel on the pending 2018 federal Farm Bill.
- A Thursday pre-conference On-Farm Food Safety & FSMA workshop and a Friday Wholesale Success farmer training workshop will be held as part of programming. Both farmer training workshops are led by organic farmer Atina Diffley, who has provided best-practices instruction for 14,500 farmers in 43 states as part of FamilyFarmed’s Farmer Training program.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24
Saturday, March 24 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) is the Good Food Festival & Marketplace, a family-friendly day of inspiring speakers, tastings from food artisans, DIY workshops on the Organic Valley Good Food Commons, chef demos at the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of IL Chefs at Play Stage, an interactive Purple Asparagus’ Kids Corner, and the Good Food Marketplace, a show and sales floor featuring more than 150 farmers, artisanal food producers, retailers, other vendors, and nonprofit organizations — all designed to grow the Good Food movement!
FamilyFarmed strongly believes in instilling Good Food values and habits in the youngest eaters. The organization is allied with food education and school gardening programs – Pilot Light, Gardeneers, and Big Green (formerly The Kitchen Community) – who are doing remarkable work with children, most of them living and learning in underserved communities. Representatives of each of these programs will participate in a panel discussion on Saturday afternoon, followed by a joint demo about grain, flour and bread presented by Pilot Light and members of the Artisan Grain Collaborative.
- Saturday kicks off with a Master Class on the culinary uses of vinegar featuring Michael Harlan Turkell, author of Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar, and Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo of Chicago’s Fat Rice restaurant. Paid tickets are required. Turkell, who has perfected the art of making vinegars at home, traveled the United States, Japan, Italy, France and Austria in search of the world’s best vinegars. He and the Fat Rice team will share recipes that show the myriad of ways in which vinegars can be incorporated into your own cooking.
- Sarah Grueneberg of Chicago’s Monteverde restaurant — fresh off her 2017 James Beard Best Chef Great Lakes Award — will receive FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Chef of the Year Award and do a cooking demo at Saturday’s popular Blue Cross & Blue Shield of IL Chefs At Play stage.
- Other chefs lined up for the Festival include Rick Bayless of the Frontera restaurants; Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader of Chicago’s Giant and City Mouse; Tom Van Lente and Melissa Graham of Purple Asparagus; Breakfast Queen Ina Pinkney; Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia; and Judson Todd Allen, a Chicago native whose flavorful spice-forward cuisine is well-known to TV audiences.
- Saturday’s Good Food Festival includes FamilyFarmed’s new series, Good Food Is Good Medicine, a public-focused program to promote the connections between Good Food and good health.
- The Organic Valley Good Food Commons features 30 minute micro-workshops organized thematically by resource centers, each focusing on important topics within the Good Food movement such as growing food, raising animals, learning culinary skills, and composting as well as testing your own where attendees are invited to bring in a sample of their backyard soil for testing.
- Saturday’s Good Food Festival will again be family-friendly with FREE admission and programming for children including the Purple Asparagus’ Kids Corner and Scavenger Hunt
“Our Good Food EXPO has brought together leading experts, chefs, farmers, Good Food producers, buyers, sellers, financiers and lenders to accelerate the already rapid growth of the Good Food movement,” said Jim Slama, FamilyFarmed’s founder and CEO. “In 2018, as in all previous years, we seek to make the next Good Food EXPO more exciting and impactful than the last.”
FamilyFarmed is a leader in promoting locally and sustainably produced food for more than two decades. Its Good Food EXPO in 2004 was the first such event focused specifically on local and sustainable food, and it remains the Midwest’s premier annual celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement
Please visit goodfoodEXPO.org for more information about this event and read all about it on FamilyFarmed’s Good Food on Every Table website. Check back often for programming updates!
UIC Forum is located at 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60607. Tickets and free Saturday registration available now at goodfoodEXPO.org.
Special thanks to our 2018 EXPO sponsors: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of IL, Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, USDA, IL Farm Bureau, Nature’s Path, UNFI, Walter S. Mander Foundation, Liberty Prairie Foundation, 1871, UIC Office of Sustainability, Simple Mills, Miller Poultry, Fortune Fish, Spiral Sun Ventures, Fresh Picks Farmer Alliance, and Farmer’s Fridge.
FamilyFarmed is the producer of the Good Food EXPO. It is a nonprofit whose mission is to expand the production, marketing, and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food in order to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities. FamilyFarmed works to build partnerships that grow regional food systems, support farmers and processors of sustainably produced food, preserve farmland, encourage transparency in food production, and advocate for healthy and affordable food access to all. FamilyFarmed connects farmers to many of the largest buyers of local food including Whole Foods Market, Local Foods of Chicago, KeHe and UNFI distributors, and many more.