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Robert Kenner: Food, Inc. Producer

Robert Kenner
Robert Kenner, producer of Food, Inc.
Food Inc. poster
Graphic for the film, Food, Inc.

On Thurs., Oct. 20 at 8 pm in the Romano Gym, Robert Kenner, producer of the documentary Food, Inc., will speak about the film, which examines corporate farming in America. A question and answer session with Kenner will follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public. It will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

Kenner's event is presented by Access For All and is offered as part of UMD Food Week. Access For All became interested in the topic because of the connection between what people eat and how they feel. “We wanted to help people become aware of what we expose our bodies to and how what we eat can create or enhance a disability limitation,” said Emily Norenberg, disability specialist in UMD’s Disability Resources. Kenner’s presentation has been widely supported by UMD groups and off-campus organizations. “This event has garnered so much support, it underlines how important this topic is,” Norenberg said.

About Food, Inc. and Robert Kenner
The film has received widespread critical acclaim, dozens of awards, including an Academy Award nomination, and has influenced current food policy decisions. Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Food, Inc. is more than a terrific movie . . . it's an important movie." The Los Angeles Times noted, "Food, Inc. does what good reporting does . . . it connects the dots." It is one of the top grossing theatrical documentaries of all time.

Kenner received a Peabody and an Emmy for Two Days in October, depicting simultaneous events in 1967: a deadly Vietcong ambush and a violent campus protest. He was co-filmmaker with Richard Pearce on The Road to Memphis for the Martin Scorsese series, The Blues. Newsweek called The Road to Memphis “as fine a film ever made about American music” and “the unadulterated gem of the Scorsese Series.” Kenner has directed numerous specials for National Geographic and PBS’s American Experience series, as well as award-winning commercials and corporate films for a wide range of clients. Kenner recently completed When Strangers Click for HBO. He is currently creating a series of web and television spots about the unsustainability of the industrial food system.

In addition to being presented by Access For All, co-sponsorship is offered by: Essentia Health; Duluth Whole Foods Co-op; Duluth Grill; Slow Food Lake Superior; The Edge Magazine; Wellness Renaissance; UMD Office of Sustainability; UMD College of Liberal Arts; UMD College of Education and Human Service Professions; UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering; Medical School Duluth; UMD School of Fine Arts; College of Pharmacy Duluth; UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics; UMD Office of Civic Engagement; UMD Food and Vending Services; MPIRG; UMD Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Other UMD Food Week Events:

Champ’s Choice Kick-Off – Mon., Oct 17: The UMD Plaza Food Court will be highlighting healthier menu options.

Fall Sustainability Fair – Wed., Oct. 19, 1-4:30 pm in the Kirby Bus Hub: The fair features discussions and presentations that focus on rethinking food systems and will highlight the progress of sustainability efforts in the community. This event is free and open to the public.

Fall Sustainability Fair presentations include:
2 pm - Got Apples? The UMD Orchard, by Cindy Hale in the UMD Multicultural Center, Kirby 264: Learn about the many projects at the UMD Orchard, including images and descriptions of efforts to restore it since the UMD Sustainable Agriculture Project formed in fall 2009. The Duluth Community Ochard, which was won through a national online voting competition, will also be discussed.

3 pm - A Food Desert in Duluth? by Adam Pine and John Bennett in the UMD Griggs Center: After qualitative and quantitative research was conducted in the local shopping community in Lincoln Park/West End, barriers to food access were recognized. The research was used to make recommendations on steps that could be taken to increase access to fresh and healthy food in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

4 pm - Bringing Farming Back to the UMD Farm, by Randy Hanson in the UMD Griggs Center: The Sustainable Agriculture Project @ UMD's Vegetable Fields represents a partnership between UMD Dining Services and SAP. In 2011, they collaborated on what the Dining Services could use, contracted with area farmers on seedlings, and worked with UMD students on planting, maintenance and harvesting the garden. They will present on lessons learned from a variety of points of view as well as future plans.

UMD Late-Season Farmer’s Market – Wed., Oct. 19, 1:30-4:30 pm in Kirby Plaza: A special Market in the Plaza featuring Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association vendors. The public is invited.

UMD Employee Health and Wellness Center Open House – Mon., Oct. 24, noon-2 pm in KSC 107: Employees and their families are invited to learn more about the services offered by the Employee Health and Wellness Center.

Canning 101: Winter Fruit! – Tues., Oct. 25, noon-12:45 pm in SpHC 119: Employees are invited to this hands-on demonstration of the boiling water canning method presented by Candice Richards, associate director, Facilities Management. Richards recently completed a Master Food Preserver program through University of Wisconsin Extension

For more information about these events, contact Rachel M. Gilbertson, UPlan health coach/health educator, UMD Employee Health and Wellness Center, 218-726-6753.

Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, Oct. 2011

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