In Search of Good Food

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The Problem

As a gardening activist living in an urban wonderland located in one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world, where options for diverse cuisine abound, I have often found myself wondering “where is all this food coming from?” Are most people in the city eating sustainably produced, locally and ecologically grown organic foods? This doesn’t seem likely. While much headway has been made in the mainstreaming of organic foods, what exactly is the state of California’s emerging “sustainable” food system?

Plan of Action

The questions asked will generally be these (but each interview will of course be tailored to each interviewee’s unique position):1) What do you do?2) How do you envision California’s “sustainable food system”? Can such a food system reliably produce enough food to support our urban populations?3) What role do you see yourself or your organization playing in such a food system? What is your capacity? What are your limitations?4) What might help you fulfill that capacity with your project?5) What methods/strategies have and haven’t worked for you?6) What are the obstacles you see facing the realization of the sustainable food system?7) Who do you see as having much influence over the food system?8) What information would you like consumers to be more aware of?My intention is multi-faceted: to gather information on the food system; to seek ideas on how to improve and apply sustainable practices and models (from those already doing it themselves); to gather information on what emergent organizations need to build their capacity (and pass this info onto the California Food and Justice Coalition, who will use it to direct their organizational-support programs), and finally, to gather footage to use in the film, entitled “In Search Of Good Food”.

Project Updates

4/10/08-Antonio and Jesse will speak with people and groups including farmers, farmer’s market organizations, watershed and farm-land advocacy groups, university building departments, educational organizations, non-profits, government regulators and politicians. In the first few months of 2008, they will tour California to ask these groups questions ranging from their visions of California’s “sustainable food system” to what role they see themselves playing as the food industry continues to grow in light of a greater presence of organically and locally grown foods.

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