/ Modified jan 10, 2019 3:17 p.m.

Author Sees Food Systems as a Way to Unite People

Tucson resident says communities across the country are joining forces for the common good.

Mission Garden volunteers Volunteers work at the nonprofit-run Mission Garden with downtown Tucson's skyline in the background, November 2018.
Nick O'Gara/AZPM

We often hear about a divided United States — separated by politics, race, economics and other factors — but Gary Paul Nabhan says there are great examples of partnerships and teamwork that are worth analyzing around the country.

Nabhan is an agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist, author, and Ecumenical Franciscan brother who traveled the country for his most recent book, "Food From the Radical Center: Healing Our Land and Communities."

In it, Nabhan provides examples of communities that are working on projects such as helping fish in the Delaware River and its tributaries, propagating the blue camas lily in western Washington state, and promoting the Navajo-Churro sheep in Arizona and New Mexico.

Nabhan also addresses Tucson, which in 2015, was named as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States.

"I wanted to remind Tucsonans and the rest of the world that coming together for urban food systems to deal with food justice issues that occur in every urban area in this country is one of the most important things that we can be doing," he says.

"And inch-by-inch Tucson has opened our doors to people who have great ideas, great innovations."

You can hear from Nabhan and other experts about these topics from Sunday, Jan. 13 to Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 in Tucson.

Nabhan is co-hosting a forum about borderlands food and conservation and the event will include tastings and field trips.

gary paul nabhan and cactus hero Tucson-based author, agricultural ecologist and ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan, PhD.
Tony Paniagua

food from the radical center hero Gary Paul Nabhan's 2018 book "Food from the Radical Center", published by Island Press.
Tony Paniagua

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