Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Cooking demonstrations are part of Saturday’s Save the Planet One Bite a Time event, organizers say. (Photo: Let’s Talk About Food)

The biggest one-day food conference you’ve never heard of is Saturday near Harvard Square, run by the organization Let’s Talk About Food and bringing in guests from Didi Emmons (chef from Pho Republique and Veggie Planet, among others) and Seth Goldman, an executive at Beyond Meat – the world’s first plant-based burger. 

It’s called “Save the Planet One Bite at a Time,” and its “cooking, demonstrations, hands-on skills and tastings, innovations and explorations” are free – part of the mission of the organization founded in 2010 by Louisa Kasdon, a journalist and former food editor of the Boston Phoenix.

“To be a foodie in 2020 requires us to go much deeper than we did before. In addition to delighting ourselves, the key challenge for a 2020 foodie is to figure how to feed the planet and the next billion members of our species,” Kasdon said in an August blog post. “My mantra [has been] that I wanted everyone to come away with a nugget of food information that they didn’t possess before. Because you never unlearn food. That’s still the hope.”

“It’s an event where we come together to have fun, get turned on and think about the collective impact we can have with every bite we take,” Kasdon wrote.

Though publicity for Saturday’s event has been low-key, it’s bound to draw some attention: It includes a Vegan Chili Beanpot competition and tastings as well as a ton of panel conversations and demonstrations by everyone from the U.S. Army’s Natick Labs (“Feeding an Army,” on the value of those notorious Meals Ready to Eat) to seafood pro Jamey Lionette, chef Ian Lavallee and a team from Cambridge Public Schools (“Dogfish, Catfish, Rockfish: Trash Fish?” including a recipe for a so-called trash fish).

Let’s Talk About Food’s “Save the Planet One Bite at a Time,” organized with Harvard University Dining Services and Whole Foods Market, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Harvard’s Science Center Plaza between Harvard Yard at Kirkland and Oxford streets, near Harvard Square. Information is here.