On Feb. 7 and 8, Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) hosted a delegation of 20 guests from China in a cultural and culinary exchange called Food Forward, focused on sharing strategies and best practices for collegiate dining programs around nutritious and sustainable menus. During the two days, eight chefs and a dozen educators and advocates from China met with subject matter experts from Harvard, and toured and experienced several meals on campus, before joining Harvard’s culinary team in the kitchen to prepare a plant-based, traditional Chinese dinner for Harvard College first-years.The Food Forward tour focused on the health and planetary benefits of plant-forward dining, and how universities can shape the dining future by educating young people. The tour, coordinated by the Good Food Fund and Yale University, included visits to Yale, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Connecticut at Storrs, and the Culinary Institute of America.“We are fortunate to be leaders, with other nearby colleagues, around changing perceptions about food for the betterment of our health and our planet,” said David Davidson, managing director for HUDS. “The meals we serve today will influence students for a lifetime, and if we can show that local sourcing, plant-based menus, and most importantly, deliciousness will yield a healthier life — and then share that with foodservice professionals from around the globe — it’s extraordinarily powerful.”The guests began their visit to Harvard at the T. H. Chan School of Public Health with an overview of how campus dining at Harvard works, followed by a nutrition research update from Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition, and several doctoral students. The delegation then toured dining venues on campus before enjoying a dinner of classic New England fare, including sustainable, locally caught monkfish, prepared by HUDS’ Crimson Catering team.The following day, following breakfast at Annenberg Dining Hall, featuring congee and vegan selections which complemented a more traditional American breakfast, the group split into two. The non-culinarians took an official, historic tour of Harvard Yard, visited the café at the Harvard Kennedy School, and met with Heather Henriksen and David Havelick of the Office for Sustainability to learn about the University’s centralized approach to driving sustainability, including the new food standards. The delegation also visited the Harvard Archives, hosted by Robin McElheny, where they explored documents related to Harvard’s early dining history, as well as its relationship with China.Meanwhile, the eight chefs donned their “whites” and stepped into the kitchen with counterparts from HUDS to prepare a traditional Chinese dinner for 1,200 people (a scale none of the delegation had ever attempted). Using recipes by each of the Chinese chefs, they scaled up preparation to present a buffet meal, coinciding closely with Lunar New Year. In the kitchen, the culinarians had to navigate language barriers and experiences with scale production to make the meal work, but the result was a magnificent, mostly vegan menu.“It just goes to show that food is a universal language,” said Davidson. Related Much of life is beyond our control, but dining smartly can help us live healthier, longer Harvard partners with fishmonger to dish up fresh, local meals on a large scale From sea to dining hall table To age better, eat better
Idina Menzel Star Files Looks like we’re going to have to let her go to TV! Tony winner Idina Menzel will headline a half-hour comedy produced by Ellen DeGeneres. According to Deadline, the If/Then and Frozen superstar will appear in the single-camera project Happy Time for DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. TV.Penned by Randi Barnes, Happy Time follows a famous woman (Menzel), who’s ready to stop pretending she’s happy all the time.In the very unlikely event you aren’t familar with Menzel’s bio, she made her Broadway debut in Rent and has since appeared in Aida, and some show called Wicked, for which she won a Tony Award. Her screen credits include Rent, Enchanted, Glee and, of course, Frozen. Her latest album Holiday Wishes debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Holiday Albums chart last year, and she is set to embark on a world tour this summer. Menzel will sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 If/Then Related Shows
PinkNews 4 May 2015Polyamorous activist and writer Redfern Jon Barrett writes for PinkNews on the need for legal recognition of relationships including three or more people.In March I submitted the following question to Green Party leader Natalie Bennett for the Pink News Q&A:“At present those in a ‘trio’ (a three-way relationship) are denied marriage equality, and as a result face a considerable amount of legal discrimination. As someone living with his two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship, I would like to know what your stance is on polyamory rights. Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?”Bennett’s response this weekend that she is ‘open’ to discussion on the topic has since made national news, with the BBC, Independent, Buzzfeed, Telegraph, and even the Daily Mail picking up on the story. It has been met by both sympathy and outrage: as I write this a Metro poll shows public support for polyamorous unions to be at 42%, the Mirror at 52%, whereas fundamentalist Christians have (predictably) announced it as a sign of the end times. Regardless of the response, it is the first time the prospect of legal polyamorous unions has been discussed by leading politicians and the mainstream press.As a polyamorous activist and author, it’s an issue I’m very familiar with, and for me and my family, it’s one which affects many aspects of our lives. Our trio is happy and stable, but lacking basic legal protections the home we have built together could easily come under threat—unconventional families face discrimination in employment, services, and housing. If one of the men I love and have built my life with were to fall ill, I would have no right to visit him in hospital.At the centre of the issue lies a fundamental inequality: monogamous relationships have legal rights and protections whilst nonmonogamous ones do not. Yet we have the opportunity for a straightforward solution: why not take the now-defunct concept of civil partnerships, and open them to polyamorous households? Each registered family would receive the same partnership rights as any other form of union, and be subject to the same obligations. Most importantly, it would provide legal recognition and protection to the increasing number of alternative households in Britain today.For many this seems like a radical concept, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the arguments against it closely mirror those against same-sex relationships in general: that we’re unnatural, that our relationships are unstable and unhealthy (of course leading to incest and bestiality), even that our love will invoke the wrath of a furious God. Simply replace ‘same-sex’ with ‘polyamorous’, and the whole debate looks painfully familiar.In fact, LGBT communities have a long history of polyamory—one dating all the way back to Lord Byron and the Shelleys, continuing through to Harvey Milk and the Radical Faeries. A 2006 study showed that 28% of lesbians, a third of bisexuals, and almost two thirds of gay men are open to nonmonogamous relationships. As any polyamorous bond will automatically involve at least two men or two women, all feature some form of same-sex relationship. Polyamorous families are queer families.At the same time, the arguments in favour of marriage for same-sex couples also apply to trios. Parents should not face losing custody of their children because they’re in a nonmonogamous relationship. Families shouldn’t risk losing their home because inheritance rights favour ‘traditional’ couples. No-one should suffer being barred from their partner’s funeral because their love isn’t recognised.All loving, adult relationships are valid. As has often been argued during the long struggle for marriage rights, none of us choose whom we fall in love with. Our only choice lies in whether we stand up to discrimination, or ignore it. Gay or straight, lesbian or bi, monogamous or polyamorous, all of us deserve to live and love equally to one another. All of us deserve recognition under the law.Yes, this will be a battle, but we’ve battled before. Yes, it seems a long way away, but twenty years ago the prospect of two husbands or two wives legally wedding one another seemed equally remote. Each new generation grows more open-minded, tolerant, and accepting than the one before, and I believe that we are sympathetic and capable enough to provide the legal protections polyamorous families need.Right now we have a historic opportunity to ensure that equality is for all of us. Love is love, regardless of how many share it. A family is a family, whether it has two members or five. In the end, monogamous or not, all LGBT people deserve equal rights—and if the past decades have proved nothing else, it’s that we are very good at fighting for them.