Posted in change, farms, Food, Food Films Club, Inspiration, tagged ana joanes, Food Films Club, food politics, food sustainabilty, FRESH! the movie, grass-fed beef, joel salatin, Michael Pollan, will allen on August 3, 2010 |
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FRESH! was the first film screened by my newborn Food Films Club.
Produced and directed by Ana Joanes, FRESH! highlights inspiring players in the food movement – folks who are key because they’re successfully challenging the status quo and making significant differences on a local level. The message of the film is that these efforts can be supported and replicated by everyone who cares about the safety and wholesomeness of the food we, as a society, have to eat.
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When I opted to take a job that was not directly within the food movement, I knew I needed to find another outlet for my desire to affect change. I want to share what I’m learning about good food and sustainability with others. This blog is clearly becoming a platform for that, but I aim to keep my “activism” bounded by the context of my life and experiences. I’d like something a little more direct. My thoughts went back to the things that had made an impact on my food choices – books, of course, but also, films. The Food Films Club was born.
Would you like to watch a moooooovie?
My Food, Inc. viewing was the model for my plan. The potluck and viewing of PBS’s airing of the acclaimed documentary was a hit – good food and a chance to watch and discuss the film with a great set of interested people. This was an activism I could lead.
The first Food Films Club night featured the documentary FRESH! with a simple meal of bread and cheese, black-eyed peas and brown rice, and fresh watermelon. In the future, I’ll post the group’s review of the film for One/Week readers. If you’ve seen it too, feel free to comment.
I’m forming a list of upcoming food films for Club nights. Do you have any recommendations?
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Bell peppers ripening, cayennes ready for picking, and swiss chard bigger than my hand, on our balcony.
I heart Katherine Gustafson. She’s a regular writer at change.org’s Sustainable Food blog. Her style and topics get me fired up every time. Yesterday she posted an article on an essay by a guy named Richard Keller, who is editor of a trade magazine called AgProfessional (“a magazine dedicated to serving ag retailers, crop consultants, and farm managers”) in which he harshly criticizes advocates of local, sustainable eating/growing as “the new hippies”, “upper-class individuals who hire gardener-entrepreneurs to turn their yards into food gardens”, and “city dwellers who are doing some type of communal gardens, rooftop gardens, patio gardens, etc., who weren’t growing any of their food a few years ago. Now, it’s a way to impress your friends and be hip.”
Retorts Katherine, “Here I was thinking my lack of designer duds and swanky apartment was limiting my hipness factor. I guess if I just grow a few more rooftop tomatoes, my popularity is sure to spike.” (more…)
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I’ve been at loose ends, mentally, the last several days. A few weeks ago I wrote a brief, cryptic post about longing for a change. Well, though not quite as I imagined it, that change is happening.
In just a few weeks I’ll be applying to Evergreen State College in Washington (state, not district) for their sustainability program – with the plan of studying sustainable agriculture and food systems, with a heavy focus on writing. Evergreen has an interdisciplinary program, so I’ll be able to craft my coursework to suit my goals. I’m not entirely sure what the outcome of this adventure will be – could be work in food policy (me, a lobbyist?!), directing a food systems related nonprofit, or maybe working to restore life to soils depleted by industrial ag abuses – but as the Monkey wisely says, “Almost no one goes to college knowing what they’re going to do when they get out. You may be an adult, but you get that luxury too.”
I should interject here that I never attended college to begin with. It’s not a path I’d recommend but it was mine, and overall I’ve done alright by it. Tenacity counts for a hell of a lot in this world, and if you’re relatively bright, that plus tenacity will pull you through. But I have learned one thing: being an expert in the thing you do opens many doors, and saves you a whole lot of grief. I’m ready to be an expert, and I have identified a passion that will inspire my tenacity. (more…)
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I read a lot about the high cost of better food. I knew my food budget had increased, but I think I might need to look at better ways to eat well. By better, I mean cheaper.
The Monkey and I are not hurting for money – in city well known to have a very high cost of living, we’re doing well. Not luxurious, but well. We’re fortunate to have good jobs, to live near our places of work, and to have a mid-range rent on an apartment we love. We can afford to buy local, organic food, but for us it means a trade. Good food instead of say, a new dress or a painting for the living room.
But I’ve been noticing lately that my paycheck was running out just a tad before the next one was due. I’ve been caught by surprise a couple of times. So I logged into my Mint.com account to take a look at my spending trends over the last few months; and I was sort of shocked.
Blue is 2009 expenses, red is 2010 expenses.
From January 2009 to May 2010, my average expenses on groceries (including supermarket shopping, dairy & veggie deliveries, and farmer’s market) have increased more than 300%.
Some of the costs in there are delivery fees. The dairy and veggie service charges $3.25 per week (each) and every Peapod order has an $8 delivery fee. I can cut Peapod fees in half by ordering only every other week instead of weekly as I did for a while. But in all honesty, that’s a whopping $16/mo savings. So fees aside, the majority of this cost is really the cost of eating locally-produced, organic (or at least nearly so) food. My wallet wonders, how sustainable is this?
I’m thrilled to know that the extra money I’m paying is in fact supporting farmers in my region who are concerned with providing quality food grown sustainably. That is not a cheap endeavor. But I need to think about how to be most efficient with my own resources, without compromising on the things that are important to me: quality, fresh food and supporting a food system I believe in.
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