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Register separately for each summit component: Thursday only, Friday only, and the Evening with Mark Bittman lecture. Meals are included for both conference days; optional cash bar and appetizers available for purchase at the evening lecture. Registration is first come, first served; register by internet or phone for fastest service.

CLICK HERE to register online.

Downloadable Flier with a
Registration Form

Click here if you need a paper registration form - and help us spread the word about the summit!

Who should attend?
If you are a researcher
, dietitian, health-care insurance industry professional; physician; clinician; hospital, nursing home, or school administrator; student or your family's chef, join us for this timely and important event.


Poor diet contributes to four of the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes), and it has been estimated that healthier diets could reduce $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and lost lives. One approach to improving the American diet, as recommended in the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines, is that we eat more plants – fruits, vegetables, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

The Food for Thought Summit, a program of the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, will present emerging scientific research that adds new insight into just how important these plants are for human health – and why. Leading scientists will give updates on their latest research and case studies on what factors can help motivate people to improve their health by eating more plants.

This two-day event is an exciting collaboration by two of the University’s flagship institutions dedicated to public health and well-being. The summit is the second annual research symposium of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and signals the Arboretum’s ongoing focus on health-giving plants.

BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota

Carver-Scott Statewide Health
   Improvement Program
Life Science Alley
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable
Minnesota Obesity Center
National Center for Food Protection
   and Defense
The Food Industry Center
University of Minnesota College of
   Food, Agricultural and Natural
   Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota Department of
    Food  Science and Nutrition
University of Minnesota Extension
University of Minnesota Masonic
   Cancer Center

University of Minnesota Nutrition
   Graduate Program
University of Minnesota Obesity
   Prevention Center


Center for Spirituality and Healing

Grains for Health Foundation
Lynne Rossetto Kasper - The Splendid
Preston Chiropractic - Dr. Rhys Preston
University of Minnesota Office of the
   Senior Vice President for System
   Academic Administration
University of Minnesota Regional
   Sustainable Development Partnerships
University of Minnesota School of
   Public Health

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Plant Foods for Human Health
University Radisson

For a detailed agenda, click here.

Research Presentations
Introduction of Session 1: Plant Foods & Bioactive Compounds for the Improvement of Human Health Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N.

Bioactive Compounds and Dietary Supplements
- Paul M Coates, Ph.D.

ood for Disease Prevention – The “Portfolio” Diet
- David J. A. Jenkins, M.D., D.Sc.

An Onion a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
 - Irwin Goldman, Ph.D.

Panel Discussion with Morning Presenters 
How do we best use this information to increase consumption of plant foods for human health?

Research Presentations
Introduction of Session 2: Public Policy Issues Related to Increasing Plant Foods in the U.S Diet - Melissa N. Laska, Ph.D.

Food Consumption Trends and the Economic and Policy Issues that Have Driven Them - Helen Jensen, Ph.D.

Plant-food Safety Issues
- Mike Doyle, Ph.D.

Communication Matters: Rethinking Nutrition & Scientific Messaging from a Journalist’s Perspective
- Mark Bittman

Panel Discussion with Afternoon Presenters 
How do we best use this information to increase consumption of plant foods for human health?

 A Summit Exclusive!
"Food Matters" - An Evening with Mark Bittman
Introduction by Lucia Watson
At the Arboretum
September 30, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Join us for a lively presentation and conversation with popular author, reporter and New York Times columnist, Mark Bittman. He will discuss the purpose, process and pleasures of researching and writing his latest cookbook, Food Matters: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living.


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Pack Your Menu with Powerhouse Plants
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

For a detailed agenda, click here.

"Food Matters: Report from the Road"
Mark Bittman, author and columnist with The New York Times, talks about his new cookbook and shares observations on the current state of Americans’ complex relationship with food.

“The Healthy Handful”

Discussion of plants that can make an immediate difference in your health and how best to prepare them. With Carolyn Denton, N.S., L.N., Abbott Northwestern Hospital.


Lessons Learned

Real-world examples of changing diets to improve health
Learn from professionals who work in schools, hospitals, community centers and neighborhood settings about how they increased the use of healthful edible plants into their institutional menus and their group members' lives. Also learn how time and money were found to implement these diet changes.


• Making a Change for the Good, One Group at a Time: Group Homes and Residential Facilities
Jean Larson, Ph.D., Director of the Arboretum's Center for Therapeutic Horticulture and Recreation Services
Toni O'Brien, Director of Community Life, Dakota Communities


• Food Fight! Or…How Even Kids Learn to Love Healthful Foods: School Lunch Programs
Jean Ronnei, Director of St. Paul Schools Nutrition Services

Enjoy a Healthy Handful Lunch – An Edible Lesson! 
Brenda Langton and University Dining Services/Aramark work together to prepare a healthful meal for you in the   Arboretum’s busy institutional kitchen.


• I’m Tired…Let’s Get Pizza: A Chef at Home
Jenny Breen, Bush Leadership Fellow and co-owner of Good Life Catering and cookbook author


• Not Your Typical Community Pot Luck: Community Center as Food Educator
Lucy Arias, from
Little Earth of United Tribes in Minneapolis, have succeeded in featuring healthful foods in their community center at meetings and community celebrations.

• The Bottom Line: How Health Care Employees Are Getting Healthier
Carole Halverson describes the steps taken by Ridgeview Medical Center to help improve their employees' health.

The Corporate Kitchen: Making Big Feel Personal
Kent Buell,  Executive Chef at Bon Appetit Catering, explains how to improve the menu in corporate cafeterias around the world.

• Questions and Answers with the Case Study Presenters