LEWISTON – Borealis Breads founder Jim Amaral and food activist-author Mark Winne are among Bates College alumni featured in the “Nourishing Body and Mind: Bates Contemplates Food” initiative happening in March.

The initiative explores the ramifications of food choices and spotlights Bates’ award-winning sustainable food-service practices.

All events are open to the public at no cost.

First up is a lecture on the impacts of globalization on poverty, food security and nutrition by Cornell University professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen. The 7:30 p.m. talk Monday, March 2, will be in Pettengill Hall’s Keck Classroom (G52).

Pinstrup-Andersen received the 2001 World Food Prize for his contribution to agricultural research, food policy and dedication to the interests of the world’s poor and hungry. In 1993, he launched the 2020 Vision Initiative, dedicated to solving global challenges where international security, energy and the environment come together.

At 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 16, Bates alumni involved in food production and nutrition in Maine will discuss a variety of issues in a panel presentation, also in Keck Classroom. Moderated by Anna Bartel, associate director of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates, the panel is made up of Amaral; Maine farmers Steve Hoad of Windsor and Nicolas Lindholm of Penobscot; and Kirsten Walter, director of the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center of Maine.

Monday, March 30, Winne, a member of the Bates class of 1972, will give a talk titled “Food Justice and Good Food – When Shall the Twain Meet?.” This will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. A reception and book signing will follow in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St.

Winne is the author of “Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty,” which Publisher’s Weekly called “a calm, well-reasoned and soft-spoken call to arms to fight for policy reform.”

Amaral, a member of the Bates class of 1980, founded Borealis Breads in 1993. Now with locations in Portland, Wells and Waldoboro, Borealis emphasizes Maine-grown ingredients, with many of its trademark breads made with organic Aroostook County wheat. Amaral employs more than 50 people and his bakeries produce up to 1,600 loaves per day.

“Maine has a strong agricultural base, and it’s a part of our landscape,” he said. “Environmentally, whether the locally grown food is raised organically or conventionally, the fact that it’s not being transported thousands of miles makes a huge difference in ecological terms, greenhouse gas and global warming.”

Hoad operates Emma’s Family Farm in Windsor with his daughter, Rose. The farm produces vegetables, pastured hen’s eggs, duck eggs and goose eggs in season, and processes rabbits and a variety of heirloom poultry breeds on the farm.

“We have a really basic philosophy that says everybody has a right to good food, and everybody should know where their food comes from,” Hoad said. “That philosophy includes helping out wherever we can, keeping our prices low, and at the same time, protecting the earth that gives us the food that we need.”

Lindholm operates Hackmatack Farm in Penobscot. He plants vegetables and wild blueberries, focusing on organic produce that he sells primarily at local markets.

A member of Bates’ class of 2000, Walter is the founder of Lots to Gardens and recently became director of the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, which works to improve the nutritional status of all Maine residents and runs the Sisters of Charity Food Pantry and Lots to Gardens.

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