Ruminate supports food systems with a conscience and fosters smarter connections between good people and good food.

Ripe for Discussion: midwest

Who is Responsible for Nutrition?

— November 10, 2019 —


With financially vulnerable individuals struggling to pay for healthy food and dealing with a higher rate of chronic disease, whose responsibility is it to get healthy? Unbalanced diets have a lifetime of health ramifications impacting the cost of support programs and healthcare, quality of life, and more. Individuals are currently tasked with fixing their own health without taking into account the structural roadblocks, from food access to cultural barriers to the prevalence of processed food to the low wages of farmers. Who needs to do the heavy lifting to solve these problems?


Let’s meet at The Søvengård


Admission: $30

Time: 2pm - 5pm

Date: August, 18 2019

It goes a bit like this...

Our Ripe for Discussion series consists of micro-think tanks where everyday leaders roll their sleeves up and build change we can start making tomorrow through discussions and design-thinking inspired brainstorming sessions.

  • First, we start with a contextual framework—an introduction of empirical data and evidence-based context for the session.

  • Next, we hear from community and subject matter experts, learning from their lived and worked experience and expertise.

  • Finally, we break out into groups and concept inventive solutions—participants bring their own knowledge and synthesize the content of the session.

  • Afterward, attendees head home with new insights and Ruminate digs in deeper—the work products are made publicly available and the innovation process continues.




join us and work alongside:


Ken Bair
Store Manager, Bridge St. Market

Ken Bair started in the grocery business in Hesperia, California at Albertsons in 1991 as a bagger. He quickly began moving up the ranks and became a store manager at the young age of 25. From there Ken took on more responsibility in regional roles and then on to marketing and merchandising in Chicago, Illinois for Jewel-Osco. He then become Director of Grocery for A&P in the New Jersey area. Before taking on his current role of store manager for Bridge Street Market at Meijer he held the position of Director of Operations for a small company in Northwest Indiana called Strack and Van Til.


Rachelle Bostwick
Founder, Earthkeeper Farm

Rachelle grew up in the greater Grand Rapids area. She graduated from University of New England with a bachelor in Sociology, minor in Biology. She started farming in New York state in 2005 on small-scale organic CSA farms. Her farm training included a full season internship, assistant farm manager, CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance of Farmers Training), multiple WWOOF experiences, and many conferences, workshops, and farm visits. In 2008, Rachelle and Andrew started Earthkeeper Farm, with the help of family. Rachelle’s hobbies include growing food, cooking, preserving, and pretty much all things farm and foodie. When she finds an extra minute, she enjoys playing with the kids or taking a nap.


Benjamin Kant
Co-Founder, Revolution Farms

Ben is a sci-fi enthusiast whose imagination is always concocting new, sometimes far out, ideas. But, he’s not just a futuristic dreamer, he’s also very much grounded in the reality of making Revolution Farms a success.

Ben sees how biological technologies can bring the natural world closer to the urban one. He’s able to blend his deep affinity for aquatic creatures and plants with a seemingly disparate background in finance and management to form a distinctly revolutionary, remarkably sustainable solution.

Ben is a LEED AP who has earned degrees from the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), the University of St. Andrews, and Brandeis University.


Shelby Kibler
Owner, Field & Fire

Shelby Kibler, owner of Field & Fire, is motivated by the aroma, flavor, and texture of his breads, and by the very mindful, down-to-earth art of baking used at his business. Shelby and his team take precious resources from the earth's stewards (farmers) and carefully ferment it so that it becomes healthful food for people. With long, slow fermentation, the use of sourdough cultures, and recipes that call for lots of whole grains, they produce baked goods with exceptional character. Hand-mixing and wood-fired oven baking complete the transition from raw ingredients to bread. The team at Field & Fire believes that the act of baking is a noble act, but only so far as the baker cares for the earth that provided the raw materials, and the health of the people who will be eating the finished product.


Jeremy Paquin
Head Chef, Grove

"Cooking is where my passion has always been. It’s what I do; it’s what I’ve always done.” Jeremy Paquin began working for Essence Restaurant Group in 2015 at Bistro Bella Vita before transitioning into the role of Head Chef at Grove and now serves as Executive Chef of Essence Restaurant Group.

Jeremy graduated from Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management at San Jacinto College in Houston, TX in 2000. He has been working in restaurants ever since! As Executive Chef, Jeremy is devoted to culinary innovation and inspires his staff to do the same.


Patty Wall, SNS
Director of Nutrition Services,
Holland & Saugatuck Public Schools

Patty is the Nutrition Director for Holland and Saugatuck Schools. She started her career in the field of child nutrition in the fall of 2000. A life long resident of West Michigan, she is a passionate advocate for the health and well being of Michigan children. She has been actively involved in farm to school, school gardens, chef to school, and numerous nutrition and culinary education programs.

In addition to being a School Nutrition Specialist, she has studied culinary arts and holds Bachelors in Business Administration. She has been recognized by the Whole Grains Council of America for her work in promoting the importance of whole grain products in schools and the community.




Hosted by: