Covering the expanse of Copley Sq., the “Let’s Talk About Food” festival took over downtown Boston this past Saturday. Despite the wind and the imminent approach of winter weather, many Bostonians turned out for the first event in the HUBweek series.
Walking among the stands of restaurants, grocers, and educators, the scent of bacon permeated the atmosphere, and the crackling sound of frying fat could be heard across Copley Sq. Presented on a wooden slab, freshly fried DuBreton bacon took center stage. The bacon is a product of one of the company’s 200-plus farms in Québec and Ontario.
DuBreton is the first and only major pork producer that’s on The Certified Humane Program and has been there since 2003. Adele Douglass, the founder and executive director of Humane Farm Animal care—The Certified Humane Program spoke about the birth-to-slaughter farm. “They applied for certification, opened themselves up for inspection, and maintained their standards every single year since,” she said.
When asked what it’s like working for DuBreton, Claire Michaud, director of marketing and communications, said, “I’m proud to work for an ethical company, one who wants to change with real actions and wants consumers to be more informed and conscientious about what they’re eating and where it comes from.”
DuBreton exemplified the mission of the Let’s Talk Food Festival. Aimed at educating customers, the festival hosted demonstrations, lectures, and expert panels all day long. Topics ranged from: “Fixing School Food: Celebrity Chef School Lunch Challenge” and “Cheese Globally, Cheese Locally: Building a Better Cheese Plate” to “Embracing Invasives: Learn to Love Unusual Fish” and “Fermentation: DIY Kimchi Class.”
Among other vendors, Green City Growers also occupied the central square of the festival. Showcasing potted plants in milk crates, the head of marking, Augusta Nichols, said the mission of Green City Growers is to convert unused spaces into productive places to grow food in urban areas, and to inspire self-sufficiency. The company hopes to educate the populace on how easy it is to grow their own food anywhere the sun shines.
The company, owners, and cultivators of the garden are based in Somerville, Mass. and have been expanding the hidden, but bountiful agricultural opportunities here in Boston since 2008. It is hoping for Boston to return to its agricultural roots. In order for this to happen, the company is educating children and adults through its workshops and courses, teaching people how to garden: everything from building a bed for planting or assembling the crates for harvesting one’s own food.
DuBreton and Green City Growers are just two of the companies featured at the “Let’s Talk About Food” Festival. The efforts employed by all the attendants showcased the passion of the Boston foodie community, and how ideas and practices are being circulated across the city.
Featured Images by Leslie Sellers / For The Heights