In recent months there has been an explosion of symposia, t.v. series, documentaries, and films about sustainable food. All of them share the same important themes:
- Sustainably grown food can drastically improve the health of individuals, the planet, and the local economy.
- WE NEED YOU!! In order for sustainable food systems to survive and thrive they need support from the local community.
- “Democracy is NOT a spectator sport!” Tell the judiciary and local and federal leaders that regulations should protect local food systems — THE LITTLE GUY — NOT — the big companies that pay for elections and bias regulations.
In May, Georgetown University and Washington Post Live co-hosted a symposium called “The Future of Food” which brought lawmakers, chefs, farmers, researchers, policy makers, nutritionists, and activists together. The symposium was a series of small panel discussions that covered a wide range of topics pertaining to food. The discussion was lively, thought provoking, and at sometimes, pointed. The highlight of the event was the keynote address given by HRH The Prince of Wales. The Prince has been an outspoken advocate for organic farming for over 20 years — before “sustainability” was synonymous with “chic”. His remarks highlighted the symbiotic relationship between sustainable farming and climate change. Visit the “Future of Food” website to watch video highlights of the conference.
Inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, HARMONY captures him on film in a way we’ve never seen him before, an authentic leader on critical global issues…Harmony looks at the root causes of the global problems we face and offers solutions. HARMONY paints a picture of an awareness that is arising in people around the globe across boundaries of geography, race religion and socio-economic status. At a moment when we hear daily about challenges on an unprecedented planetary scale, Harmony proposes a way forward and provides the audience with a new perspective on the need to change our relationship with the planet. Harmony is a global call to action.
Recognizing Jamie’s star power and the need to shine a star’s light on the alarming state of the food system in America’s schools, Seacrest has produced two seasons of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC. In 2010 he took on Huntington, West Virginia, and in this past season, the Los Angeles United School District. Over seven years ago, Jamie’s School Lunches aired on TLC, chronicling his quest to improve the British school lunch program. If you think that it’s outrageous that more money is spent on food to feed prison inmates than is spent on American children, this program is for you! Jamie’s believes that the answer to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare from obesity-related illnesses cannot be found in the halls of Congress; rather we need look no further than our own kitchens. Check out Jamie’s inspiring TED lecture.
I saw the movie a few weeks ago for a private screening for chefs with the film’s director, Kristin Canty, a mom and first-time film maker, whose struggle to provide raw milk for her son — the only thing keeping his debilitating asthma at bay — inspired her to create a film. Farmageddon highlights the government’s harassment of farmer/producers and consumers of raw milk. It is difficult to understand why a substance with so many healing properties has been deemed unfit for human consumption. I must admit that I am having a hard time convincing my own husband of the health benefits of raw milk, but regardless of your personal preferences, it’s hard to understand how it’s legal for the government to prevent a group of four families who co-own a cow from drinking its milk in whatever form they choose. Afterall, it’s not illegal to smoke or drink alcohol when your pregnant, why can’t you drink cow’s milk raw if you wish? The scenes of the government seizing property, animals and destroying livelihoods was something that I though only happened during the collectivization of farms in the Soviet Union.
Click here if you’re interested in hosting a viewing of the Farmageddon. What a great way to get involved!
This new documentary just premiered in Staunton and Waynesboro, Virginia in honor of Polyface Farm’s Family Field day. Joel Salatin and his famed Polyface farm are featured in the documentary that examines the feasability of feeding the world from small pasture farms and debunks the myth that this time-honored method of farming cannot be financially successful. I haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t wait to!
Staci Strauss and Craig McCord (Slow Films Woodstock) apply the skills they acquired in the television commercial business to tell the stories of the great work being done by farmers, ranchers, bee-keepers, chefs, butchers, food writers, chocolatiers, cookbook authors, wine makers, distillers, seed-savers, cheese makers, fishers, foragers, and, well . . . you get the picture. They live in Woodstock, New York.