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  • Susan Russell

Menu For the Future

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

What is the wonderful experience we call Food? What does “Food Sustainability” actually mean?

How can we improve our “Foodshed?”

How are NYS Climate Smart Communities (like towns of Colonie, Newcastle, Saranac Lake, and NYS municipal governments) processing their food scraps, often referred to as “food waste?”

Food is something everyone relates to in some way. We all love to eat, and we purchase, cook or serve food in some form. It’s essential for all of us, and it connects us to others. Most gatherings of family and friends involve food. Knowing where and how our food is grown leads us to the choices we make. It also informs us as to how a region benefits, or suffers, from what is available.

These are just some of the questions we’ll pose for each other as “Menu for the Future” takes off this October. Local residents are invited to attend “Menu,” a small community group Study Course published by the Northwest Earth Institute. This endeavor is one of the local projects of the Cornell Climate Steward Program, taught by East Aurora-based Cooperative Extension. Climate Stewards, Michele Bjella and Sandy Chelnov, will be the facilitators.

As we strive to find sustainable food choices, and look forward to minimal traveling distances to source our daily bread, we’ll read inspired essays and talk over some of the available local healthy food options.

We’ll consider what becomes of our food waste in the process, and discover how “food waste” can actually become “food treasure” when food scraps are turned into nutrient rich compost, sometimes referred to as “Black Gold.”

You are invited to fully explore our food system, and make our community more climate smart and sustainable.

“The Introduction to Menu for the future” starts October 5 in East Aurora, upstairs in the loft at

The Elm Street Bakery.

For more information, or to register, contact Michele Bjella: or call 715-570-9779.

-By Michele Bjella, ACES member

Photo: Pat Reiter, a farmer from Attica, displays her locally-grown produce at the East Aurora Farmer’s Market.

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