The annual meeting of the American Agricultural Economics Association starting today here in Providence, RI, offers an exceptional number of program items about U.S. food safety and nutrition issues, along with the more traditional fare of agricultural economics topics. Jim Tillotson, Ben Senauer and I are speaking tomorrow (Monday) at 3:30 pm in a symposium session about food industry responses to obesity. Interestingly, the session is sponsored not by the association's Food Safety and Nutrition section, but by the Food and Agricultural Marketing Policy Section (FAMPS). Food manufacturers and retailers, and the economists who work with them, are very interested in nutrition topics lately. The Food Safety and Nutrition Section also has many sessions throughout the conference.
For diversion and education, some folks are meeting local food advocate Noah Fulmer at the Providence Monday farmers' market downtown at 5:20 p.m. Monday at the information table, for a tour and introduction to the produce of local farmers.
Kathleen Merrigan from the Friedman School at Tufts, and former chief of USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service, is the luncheon speaker at the main extension event at noon on Tuesday.
Update (7/27/2005): Corrected spelling of Fulmer's name.