Summit to Set the
Course for a Healthier America—and Planet
Jan Stuebing Smyth
Hyde Park, NY – Building on the success of its inaugural year, the second annual
Menus of Change® leadership summit will delve deeper into issues at the
intersection of health, the environment, and short- and long-term business
strategies that will re-shape the future of the $683-billion American
foodservice industry. Co-presented by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
and Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, the conference
will take place at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA on June 9–11, 2014.
Registration is open to chefs, foodservice executives, research scientists,
academics, policy makers, and environmental experts.
Speakers hail from research and academia, foundations and
financial sectors, culinary arts, and the sustainability field. Some key
presenters and topics include:
- Keynote speaker Michel Nischan, chef, restaurateur, and CEO of Wholesome
Wave, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make locally grown produce
available to people at all income levels. He will discuss his work to
strengthen the collaboration between chefs, farmers, and the medical
- Dr. Robert Lawrence, professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of
Public Health, will lead us through the latest science behind concerns about
excessive use of antibiotics in our meat and poultry supply.
- Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft, will describe how company
sustainability initiatives can integrate with corporate social responsibility
and bottom-line imperatives.
- Stan Frankenthaler, a CIA graduate and vice president of global innovation and corporate executive
chef for Dunkin' Brands, will share his firsthand experience with how volume
foodservice operations can find more opportunities to increase focus on fruits
and vegetables in menu R&D.
Other subjects that will be explored include the effects of
climate change on agriculture and supply chain resilience, the latest sodium
research (and why last year's media reports got the story mostly wrong), and
trends in consumer attitudes and behaviors around food ethics and values. A
full list of session topics and speakers can be viewed at menusofchange.org.
"We want attendees to leave with actionable items they can
use from the first day they are back in their offices," says Greg Drescher,
vice president of strategic initiatives and industry leadership at the CIA.
"We'll provide a 'knowledge GPS' that includes elements such as sample menus
and R&D strategies around key issues, to help participants identify
next-generation business practices that are more sustainable—in all meanings of
The partnership between the CIA and Harvard spans more than
a decade of collaboration on health and wellness research and conferences.
Given that more and more Americans are relying on chefs—in restaurants, at
supermarkets, and on television—for health- and sustainability-inspired daily
menu suggestions, foodservice executives and entrepreneurs need clear, concise,
and actionable science-based information to help their customers make food
choices that meet these expectations. But due to conflicting messages in the
marketplace and consumers' often inherent resistance to change, education, and
collaboratively designed strategy are critical.
An integral part of that education will be the 2014 Menus of Change Annual Report, which will be released on Monday, June 9 and serve as a principal reference
point for discussion throughout the conference. Working with the Menus of
Change Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, Dr. Walter Willett, chairman
of the council and of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public
Health, will present, together with other report co-authors, current, best
thinking about the confluence of health and environmental evidence-based
imperatives, including implications for the next three to five years and beyond.
Drescher adds, "Our Menus of Change initiative will then
take this science and link it to business insights that support viable, new
operational concepts that first and foremost celebrate 'deliciousness'."
Registration for Menus of Change 2014 is through menusofchange.org.
Discussion surrounding key issues of the initiative also takes place online
throughout the year, including in a monthly news update and in social media with
the hashtag #CIAMOC.
Scientific issues considered each year by the Menus of
Change annual conference and report are informed exclusively by the project's Scientific and Technical
Advisory Council, with joint oversight by Harvard School of Public Health
and The Culinary Institute of America. The Menus of Change Sustainable Business Leadership Council provides project insights around innovation, entrepreneurship, and
changing business models.
Menus of Change is made possible by a generous grant from presenting
sponsor Unilever Food Solutions, a leader in sustainability. Additional
support has been provided by platinum sponsor California Walnut
Commission, premium gold sponsor Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute,
gold sponsors Changing Tastes; Chobani, Inc.; and Paramount
Citrus/Wonderful Pistachios/POM Wonderful; more than a dozen additional
suppliers to the foodservice industry; and select foundations.
Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image
Greg Drescher, vice president of strategic initiatives and
industry leadership at the CIA, addresses attendees at the 2013 Menus of Change
conference. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >
About The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America, founded in 1946, is an independent,
not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in
culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as
certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the
world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas
of health and wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines and cultures through
research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes
industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut,
Steve Ells, Charlie Palmer, and Roy
Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers programs for professionals and enthusiasts, as
well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and
hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena,
CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.
About Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many
disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce
powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a
community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to
take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people's lives—not only making
scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors,
public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty
members at HSPH teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and
train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in
1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as
America's first professional training program in public health.
For more information
on the School, visit www.hsph.harvard.edu.
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