Sustainable food expert Anna Lappé will share stories from around the world in Missoula on Monday, focusing on innovative ways to grow healthy food.

Lappé will present “Sustainability, Sustenance and Social Change: How Sustainable Food and Farming Can Nourish the World and Transform Communities,” at 8 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre as part of the University of Montana President’s Lecture Series.

“Eating is one of the most intimate things we do in our life and it affects who we are as people,” Lappé said. “Food has multiple impacts on health, health care, on the economy. We are really working to fix the broken food system.”

Lappé is the author of several books on the sustainable food movement and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund.

Lappé’s most recent book, “Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork,” helps connect the dots between the food people eat and the climate crisis, she said.

“It shows how the food system contributes to about one-third of greenhouse emissions globally,” Lappé said.

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Lappé last spoke in Missoula seven years ago and has seen plenty of positive change in the sustainable food movement since. More college campuses are adding farms and using sustainably or locally grown foods. Young people play a big part in the movement, Lappé said.

“I like to tell the story of some young people I met at a community farm in Brooklyn,” Lappé said. “This one kid was waxing poetic about lemon sorrel borage (a type of edible flower). It was a great example of how I think there’s this misconception that young people just want to eat junk food and they don’t care about these things.

“Yet, when you really go out there in the community, across the community you’re finding young people who are really active and engaged and bringing healthy food to the forefront.”

Lappé’s latest mission is attempting to dispel the biggest myths about sustainble foods.

The Food Mythbusters website – foodmyths.org – hosts an online action center and is home to online movies that “tell the real story of our food,” Lappé said.

“One of the myths we take on first is the myth that we need chemical agriculture to feed the world,” Lappé said. “The first movie shows that, in fact, the opposite is true. Sustainable and organic systems are vital to addressing the roots of ending hunger.”

Next, Food Mythbusters will take on how junk food marketing affects kids.

Lappé’s presentation is the Brennan Guth Memorial Lecture in the President’s Lecture Series. It’s being presented in conjunction with the environmental studies program at UM.

Reporter Jenna Cederberg can be reached at 523-5241 or at jenna.cederberg@missoulian.com.

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