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"Farmageddon" Comes Home for the Holidays

With holiday table preparations in full swing, you’re likely focused on the who—your guest list—and the what—the dishes you’ll be serving. The Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM) would like to remind you, however, that the what—the ingredients you’ll use—and the how—the methods used to grow them—are just as important.

Nov. 18, WFM, in conjunction with the Westport Cinema Initiative , will host a screening of the film “ Farmageddon ,” a film exploration by Kristin Canty that, according to the film’s website, “tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.”

A panel of local “green” food experts, including Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm , Chef Michel Nischan of Wholesome Wave and The Dressing Room and Suzanne Sankow of Beaver Brook Farm , will follow the screening. Lori Cochran Dougall, WFM Director, will moderate the panel, and assist the audience in having their food questions answered.

With food at the central focus of Thanksgiving, one of our country’s most celebrated holidays, it seems a logical time to shine a spotlight on the issues the film raises. As Dougall puts it, “’Farmageddon’ highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations.”

The panel experts bring personal experience to the discussion. Nischan is himself the son of displaced farmers. Brought up with an understanding of local agriculture, Nischan has turned his experiences from childhood into a celebrated career as award-winning chef, author and restaurateur.

Farrell is the Master Farmer at Millstone Farm in Wilton, CT. Of the farm’s philosophy, Farrell writes, “We strive to use best farm practices, encourage their implementation, and promote awareness about their positive impact on local economies, the community, and quality of life and integrate modern technology with wisdom of the past.”

The screening will be held at Christ and the Holy Trinity Church in Westport, and begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase at http://westportcinema.org/ .

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