The Food Movement: California’s Prop 37

Come November 6, in addition to the national election and other state ballot issues, a few million Californians will vote on food. California, long the rebel state that paves the way for the rest of the nation, has Proposition 37 on the menu ballot, which would require that genetically modified (G.M.) foods carry a label.

It seems a simple concept to let people know what they’re eating, but as food author, journalist and activist and Michael Pollan writes in an article titled “Vote for the Dinner Party,” Big Food doesn’t see it that way:

Throwing Away Gorillas: Food Waste

We screened the premiere of Bag It in 2009, and artist Chris Jordan has appeared with his “Running the Numbers” series at the festival, so Mountainfilm in Telluride audiences are no stranger to the concept of waste in its many forms, but it’s a topic worth revisiting periodically, especially with mind-boggling statistics.

Food's New Foot Soldiers

Curt Ellis spoke at the 2011 Awareness Into Action Symposium about his new organization, FoodCorps. Now, his exciting work is featured in the NY Times. If you want to join up, let us know and we will connect you to Curt.

FoodCorps, which started last week, is symbolic of just what we need: a national service program that aims to improve nutrition education for children, develop school gardening projects and change what’s being served on school lunch trays.

Mark Bittman on the True Cost of Tomatoes

Ever thought about what's actually the cost of a tomato? Mark Bittman tackles that question, taking a look at the effects of our need for easily sliceable tomatoes, another example of how what we eat is about so much more than just food.

From The New York Times:

Mass-produced tomatoes have become redder, more tender and slightly more flavorful than the crunchy orange “cello-wrapped” specimens of a couple of decades ago, but the lives of the workers who grow and pick them haven’t improved much since Edward R. Murrow’s revealing and deservedly famous Harvest of Shame report of 1960, which contained the infamous quote, “We used to own our slaves; now we just rent them.”

But bit by bit things have improved some, a story that’s told in detail and with insight and compassion by Barry Estabrook in his new book, “Tomatoland.” We can actually help them improve further.

Help to Support South Central Farm

In 2009, we screened The Garden, by Scott Kennedy. Nominated for an Academy Award, The Garden exposed the confusion and corruption that jeopardized South Central Farm, which broke ground in Los Angeles after the 1992 riots and became a working farm of 14 acres, tilled by 350 low-income families in the middle of a predominantly Hispanic immigrant neighborhood.

Getting Students to Think About Food: New Food Inc. Discussion Guide Distributed to Classrooms

Do people have the right to know what is in their food? Should companies be able to own the DNA contained in plant seeds? When deciding what to eat, how much should we consider the workers who pick, process, and transport our food?

Those are all questions high school students are encouraged to think about in the new Food Inc. Discussion Guide, developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy. A companion to the documentary, the guide will be distributed to schools across the country.

The guide is 102 pages of of thought-provoking and questions that get students talking about health, sustainability, animal welfare and workers' rights.

Interested in checking out the guide? You can download it in either English or Spanish.