Edible Institute 2014 Speaker Bios

February 14, 2014

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Mark Bittman, whose “Minimalist” column ran in the Dining section of the New York Times for more than 13 years, is a Times Opinion columnist, the lead food writer for The Times Magazine, and a columnist for the Times Dining section. His books include the bestselling How to Cook Everything and the groundbreaking Vegan Before 6 P.M. (VB6), where he provides all the necessary tools for making the switch to a Flexitarian diet with lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action.

Jane Black is a Brooklyn-based food writer who covers food politics, trends and sustainability issues. Her work appears in the Washington Post, (where she was a staff writer), the New York Times, Slate, New York magazine and other publications. Janeblack.net

Nevin Cohen is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at The New School, where he teaches courses in urban food systems, environmental studies, environmental planning, and environmental policy analysis, including cross-disciplinary courses that connect the fields of urban policy, planning, and design. He has been involved in food policy development in New York City, and co-authored a study to support and strengthen New York City’s urban agriculture system (Five Borough Farm: seeding the future of urban agriculture in New York City). Dr. Cohen has a PhD in Urban Planning from Rutgers University, a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Berkeley, and a BA from Cornell.

Claire Cummings is a trash-talking, waste-fighting garbage guerrilla — more formally known as the first-ever Waste Specialist for Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the pioneering food service provider that operates more than 500 cafés in 32 states for corporations, universities, and museums around the country. Over the past year Claire has doubled Bon Appétit’s food-recovery programs, developed implementation guides for launching reusable to-go container programs, supported the development of a new kitchen-waste-tracking system, and partnered with farmers to address waste in the fields. Claire’s passion for sustainable waste management began when she was a student dining at Bon Appétit's café at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Her work as a Fellow for the foundation led to the creation of the Waste Specialist position.

Chuck Eggert is Founder and CEO of 25-year-old natural foods pioneer Pacific Foods, as well as a farmer and food systems innovator. His family-owned sustainable agriculture operations include organic dairies, chicken farming and more, totaling more than 4,000 acres across the Willamette Valley. Over the past two decades, Chuck has seen the Tualatin, Oregon-based company grow from its early beginnings as a soymilk producer into the thriving business it is today, producing a wide array of soups and sauces, broths, non-dairy beverages, meals and sides. Through his leadership, Pacific Foods is inspiring people to know more about their food, where it comes from and how it’s grown by delivering delicious foods, organic whenever possible, made with respect for the land, animals and people. Learn more about Chuck’s farming practices and food philosophy at pacificfoods.com.

Samuel Fromartz is Editor-in-Chief of the Food & Environment Reporting Network an independent non-profit news organization. His work has appeared in Fortune, The New York Times, and The Washington Post among other outlets. His book,  In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey (Viking) will be published in the fall of 2014. His first book,  Organic Inc: Natural Foods and How They Grew (Harcourt), was published in 2006. 


Danielle Gould is the Founder & CEO of Food+Tech Connect. Through news and analysis, events and custom research she helps companies of all sizes drive innovation and understand how information and technology are changing the way food is produced, distributed and consumed. Danielle is also a founding member of the Culinary Institute of America's Sustainable Business Leadership Council and is a regular contributor to Forbes. She regularly speaks on the subjects of food, technology and data. Her expertise includes food data, food systems, urban agriculture, data-driven business models, strategic partnerships, engagement strategy, event strategy, open government and open innovation.

Brian Halweil is the editor of Edible East End and co-publisher of Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan and Edible Long Island magazines. His writing has focused on organic farming, biotechnology, hunger, and rural communities. He is the author of Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket, and he lives in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family keep a home garden and orchard, and raise oysters.

Peter Hoffman is the chef owner of Back Forty (2007) and Back Forty West (2012) the restaurant he opened on Prince St. after operating Savoy (1990) in the same location for over 20 years. Named by the New York Times “A Locavore Before the Word Existed”, Hoffman has a long commitment to seasonal cooking along with an awareness of the environmental impact of his sourcing. Hoffman served on the advisory board of the Greenmarket from 1986 - 1999 and Chefs Collaborative from 1997 until 2010, acting as its national chair from 2000-2006. He will receive a Snailblazer award from Slow Food NYC in June for his long commitment supporting local and sustainable farms. Hoffman spoke about fracking at TEDx in 2013 with an accompanying article in Edible Manhattan. Read: Cooking with Gas or watch Food, Fracking and Why I Love Richard Nixon.

Wenonah Hauter is the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on food, water, energy and environmental issues at the national, state and local level. Her book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America examines the corporate consolidation and control over our food system and what it means for farmers and consumers.  From 1997 to 2005 she served as Director of Public Citizen’s Energy and Environment Program, which focused on water, food and energy policy. From 1996 to 1997, she was environmental policy director for Citizen Action, where she worked with the organization’s 30 state-based groups. From 1989 to 1995 she was at the Union of Concerned Scientists where, as a senior organizer, she coordinated broad-based, grassroots sustainable energy campaigns in several states. She has an M.S. in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland.

Anna Lappé is an author, public speaker, and educator about sustainable food systems. She is the co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and founder of the Real Food Media Project and its international short films contest: www.realfoodmedia.org

James Marcus is executive editor at Harpers Magazine and the author of Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot-Com Juggernaut, as well as six translations from the Italian. His work has appeared in The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Story Quarterly, The Antioch Review, The Atlantic, and Best American Essays 2009. His next book, Glad to the Brink of Fear: A Portrait of Emerson in Eighteen Installments, will be published in 2015.

Scott Mowbray is 18-year veteran of publishing company Time Inc. who has run magazines, websites and editorial divisions. Mowbray, who won a 2013 James Beard cookbook award in the health category, has written about food and nutrition for more than 20 years. Before becoming editor of Cooking LIght, he relaunched the Health.com website. He was also editor of Popular Science when it won the highest magazine award from the American Society of Magazine Editors. His background in food and nutrition began early in his career as a columnist and restaurant reviewer for a regional Canadian magazine and for CBC radio. He was editor of Vancouver magazine, where he launched that title's annual restaurant awards. At Cooking Light, Mowbray led development of the magazine’s first cooking app, which won recognition from Apple for its iPhone and iPad iterations. In 2013, Workman published, with co-author George Lange, his book The Unforgettable Photograph, a guide to improving personal photography. He resides in Birmingham, Alabama.

Danielle Nierenberg is President of Food Tank (www.foodtank.com) and an expert on sustainable agriculture. She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world, and innovations in sustainable agriculture. Her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 8,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, BBC, the Guardian (UK), Le Monde, the Mail and Guardian (South Africa), the East African (Kenya), TIME magazine, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Voice of America, the Times of India, the Sydney Morning Herald, and other major publications.

Danielle has authored or contributed to several major reports and books, including Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry (2005), State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet (Editor and Project Director, 2011), Eating Planet 2012 (2012), and Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability (2012).

Nick Papadopoulos is CEO of CropMobster Community Exchange and Food Waste News, which he and his partners launched in 2013 to help communities transform food waste and AG surplus into “win-win” community value. These innovations emerged out of a 2-year stint as GM of his family’s Bloomfield Organics farm where he saw first-hand the toll food waste takes on farms, communities and the environment. His work has been featured in TIME Magazine, The Huffington Post and other leading publications and he is known for engaging, impact-oriented workshops and speaking engagements. He lives on the farm in Sonoma County, California with his wife Jess.

Tom Philpott, Food and Ag correspondent for Mother Jones is the cofounder of Maverick Farms, a center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. He was formerly a columnist and editor for the online environmental site Grist and his work on food politics has appeared in Newsweek, Gastronomica and the Guardian. Food & Wine named Philpott one of "ten innovators" who "will continue to shape the culinary consciousness of our country for the next 30 years." In 2011, he was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award—the "Oscars of the food world," as Time put it—in the "Food-Related Columns and Commentary" category.

Elizabeth Royte is the author of the critically acclaimed Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash; Bottlemania: How Water Went On Sale and Why We Bought It; and The Tapir’s Morning Bath: Solving the Mysteries of the Tropical Rain Forest, and has written on environmental issues for The New York Times magazine, National Geographic, Harper’s, Outside, and other magazines. Royte is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and a contributing editor for OnEarth magazine. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Science Writing for 2004 and for 2009, the environmental omnibus Naked, and Outside Magazine’s Why Moths Hate Thomas Edison. A former Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, she is the recipient of Bard College’s John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service. She is also a contributing editor at the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

Ben Simon is the Founder and Executive Director of Food Recovery Network, which unites students at American colleges to recover surplus food from their campuses and donate it to hungry Americans. Since its founding in September 2011, FRN has expanded to 61 colleges and donated over 215,000 meals. Food Recovery Network has been featured in the Washington Post, MSNBC, VH1 and Upworthy and Ben was recognized by ABC News Univision as one of their Top 10 Social Entrepreneurs of 2012. Ben is a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he will graduate from this May.

Edible Institute is sponsored by:

Pacific Foods, : , makers of organic broths, soups, non-dairy beverages and more, believes good nutrition starts in the field with a genuine commitment to sustainable farming practices.


USA PearsRipe, sweet, and juicy info about pears, pear pop culture, pear recipes, and pear nutrition. 


Organic Valley: Award-winning organic milk, cheese, butter, soy milk, produce, healthy snacks, and more.


VerTerra redefines what stylish, sustainable and compostable disposable dinnerware can be: all-natural - made from only fallen leaves, steam, heat and pressure.


Niman Ranch produces the finest tasting all natural meats by raising livestock traditionally, humanely, and sustainably on more than 700 U.S. family farms

Le Pain Quotidien serves simple, elegant boulangerie fare made with organic ingredients whenever possible at 200 Le Pain Quotidien locations throughout the world.