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September 22 - Food & Climate Change

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Food & Climate Change
Global warming has become one of the defining scientific, political and social issues of our era. Interest in reducing heat trapping gases has spurred both environmentalists and entrepreneurs toward developing new strategies and products to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint. While more efficient automobiles and renewable energy sit center stage in the solutions category, agriculture and our industrial food system play a more minor role in the public eye. This talk, however, focuses on food, where it comes from, how to cook it, and how changing your diet can reduce carbon emissions as effectively as buying a new fuel-efficient car. The material comes from the newly published book, Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite out of Global Warming. Cool Cuisine examines connections between food and energy use and offers solutions for reducing your carbon footprint through consumer education and food choices.

Speaker Bio: Chef Laura Stec
Laura Stec is an author and chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America, The School of Natural Cookery, and The Vega Macrobiotic Study Center. She worked at Seva, Ann Arbor, MI; Spoons, Arcata, CA; and San Francisco Bay Area’s Left Bank and Flea Street Café before starting her own personal chef/catering business, making her name in the food world by cooking up green cuisine dinner parties for clients such as Google, Harvard University, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Stec is Culinary Health Educator for Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers, former chef for Kaiser’s organic farmer’s market, and consulting chef at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California. Since founding one of the first U.S. food and environment organizations in 1989, Stec has been feeding us with the idea that one of the most positive effects we can have on the environment begins on our dinner plate; a message she has promoted for 12 years at Acterra, a Palo Alto, CA environmental organiza¬tion. With 37 years combined experience in the food and environment sectors, Stec partners with to consult with corporations and institutions on ways to incorporate regionally responsible cuisine, and lecture on topics such as The Business of Eating - Green Cuisine Trends and Practices. Cool Cuisine is her first book. Visit her at:

Speaker Bio: Eugene Cordero, Ph.D.
Eugene Cordero, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Meteorology at San José State University. His research interests are focused on understanding the pro¬cesses responsible for long-term changes in climate through the use of observations and atmospheric models. At present, this work is supported by research grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA. Dr. Cordero is a coauthor on the WMO/UNEP 2006 Ozone Assessment report and is cur¬rently participating in projects related to evaluating the models used for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. In the Department of Meteorology, Dr. Cordero teaches various courses in climate change and is involved in projects working to improve methods of education that engage and ultimately stimulate social change. Visit him at:

Please note: the hosting of speakers for the Green Speaker Series: Local Heroes on Local Issues does not constitute an endorsement by the Town of Portola Valley (Town). The Town does not endorse any of the speakers, their businesses or the information provided in their presentations.