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The stories America needs to hear

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How did something so fundamental as food, go so fundamentally wrong?

Instead of nourishing us, what we eat and the way we produce it threaten the air we breathe, the water we drink and the dirt under our feet. And yet, too much 'food' television focuses on celebrity chefs and cooking competitions and not enough on where our food comes from and the impact it has on our planet, our country, our bodies, and our souls.

Food Forward opens the door into a new world of possibility, where pioneers and visionaries are creating viable alternatives to the pressing social and environmental impacts of our industrial food system. Across the country, a vanguard of food rebels--farmers, chefs, fishermen, teachers, scientists, and entrepreneurs--are creating inspired, but practical solutions that are nourishing us and the planet. These are stories America needs to hear. This is Food Forward.

Watch the full episode here: http://www.pbs.org/food/shows/food-forward/

About the Show

 

Food Forward: Urban Agriculture Across America is a half-hour, character-driven survey of urban farming across the country. We meet the food rebels who are growing food right where we live--in cities. Lively animation starts us off asking some tough questions of industrial agriculture. Then, onto the streets of New York City with Dr. Dickson Despommier, author of The Vertical Farm Project. “Most of us live in cities now, over 50% and up to 80% in 20 years. We love each other, we like to be with each other, we like to sit down to a good meal together and we all know want to know what's in our food. So why not grow it, where we live?” he asks. 


Our first food rebel, John Mooney has a hydroponic rooftop farm on top of a one-hundred and five year old historic building in the West Village of Manhattan. Mooney tried conventional farming and felt that the technology of soil-less rooftop farming was, “just smart. It made sense.” Next, Andrew Coté, President of the New York City Beekeepers Association hawks his honey at the Tomkin’s Square Farmer’s Market in lower Manhattan. Coté explains how urban beekeeping helps to pollinate the urban farms and community gardens scattered throughout the city.

CAPTION

Urban beekeeper Andrew Coté points out the queen bee on one of his many rooftop hives with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. (Photo by Greg Roden, © 2012 Food Forward Productions LLC)

Our tour of New York’s vibrant urban agriculture scene continues up into the Bronx where Karen Washington, owner of the Garden of Happiness, decides to take back empty and decaying lots to start growing food. Brooklyn is our next stop where hoards of hipsters are getting reacquainted with the sources of their food and getting behind the good food movement.

Leaving New York, we head to Milwaukee where the biggest name in urban agriculture, Will Allen, inspires a new generation of innovators. Will motivated the folks at Sweetwater Aquaponics into action, scaling up his Telapia farm to more of a commercial operation. We follow the flow of fish from 8,000 gallon tanks in an abandoned warehouse to plate at La Merenda restaurant. Moving on to West Oakland, we get an in-depth look at urban farmer Abeni Ramsey who came from the mean streets of West Oakland but is now running her own crew at City Girl Farms.

CAPTION

Edith Floyd, founder of ‘Growing Joy’ gardens in Detroit, MI drives her shiny new bright orange Kabota tractor down her street where she is reclaiming the empty lots and growing food. (Photo by Greg Roden, © 2012 Food Forward Productions LLC)

Finally, we finish in the food deserts, Detroit, MI, where we spend time with eighteen-year-old Travis Roberts, who grew up in Detroit, watching the city watching the city struggle with increasing urban blight. In trouble and more than 100 pounds overweight, he was headed in the wrong direction. But since then, he’s discovered the city’s urban agriculture movement and found a new purpose in life and is out to become an urban chicken rancher. Travis is joined by a cast of powerful characters in Detroit that are rebuilding their city, block by block.

http://www.pbs.org/food/shows/food-forward/

by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM
Replies (11-14):
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:54 PM

 :)

krysstizzle
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I've read about hyperlocavores (is that a word? If not, apparently it should be), have never had the pleasure of meeting one. My, but I cannot imagine living without coffee. And vanilla, what would one do without vanilla? Or cinammon, for goodness sake!

Quoting LindaClement:

Oh, I have... I know a lot of people who want to live a wholly locavore diet (no coffee addicts there!) And for the total adherents, there are very good reasons seaweed fertilizers cannot be added to the soil: they're not local.

There are lots of farmers, all over the world (if you want diversity) who don't do the industrial agriculture the US does. Most of the world thinks it's insane, and the rest of it simply cannot afford it.

Quoting krysstizzle:

I haven't heard one person who is active in local/regional food movements suggest that 100% of food in a locality should all be grown and consumed there. In fact, that is pointed out in the video specifically. 

So far, our conventional industrial ag system is doing far more to drastically decrease crop diversity than a local food system could dream of. Smaller scale, locally based food systems foster a lot of diversity, at least so far. There's no reason the move towards more localization couldn't work to specifically ensure crop diversity (indeed, it already is). 

I have heard of goiter regions. Smaller scale, sustainable food systems address all types of soil defencies; there's no reason kelp or other sources can't be added to soil. Healthy soil is a basic tenet of this movement. 

Quoting LindaClement:

There are, particularly in central North America, some excellent reasons why 'local-only' food is silly and dangerous.

The broader and more diverse our food origins are, the less likely we will suffer in huge groups from local soil depletion and regional blights, famines and crop failures...

Ever heard of 'goiter regions'? 

Wonder why not?




LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Apr. 27, 2013 at 3:17 AM

I know!

Read some Dickensian fiction, fer cryin' out loud! Yay! The orange shipment is here for this year, it will only cost you half a month's rent for 4...

Life without worldwide food trade is, what... 40-50,000 years ago? Or more...

Quoting krysstizzle:

I've read about hyperlocavores (is that a word? If not, apparently it should be), have never had the pleasure of meeting one. My, but I cannot imagine living without coffee. And vanilla, what would one do without vanilla? Or cinammon, for goodness sake!

Quoting LindaClement:

Oh, I have... I know a lot of people who want to live a wholly locavore diet (no coffee addicts there!) And for the total adherents, there are very good reasons seaweed fertilizers cannot be added to the soil: they're not local.

There are lots of farmers, all over the world (if you want diversity) who don't do the industrial agriculture the US does. Most of the world thinks it's insane, and the rest of it simply cannot afford it.

Quoting krysstizzle:

I haven't heard one person who is active in local/regional food movements suggest that 100% of food in a locality should all be grown and consumed there. In fact, that is pointed out in the video specifically. 

So far, our conventional industrial ag system is doing far more to drastically decrease crop diversity than a local food system could dream of. Smaller scale, locally based food systems foster a lot of diversity, at least so far. There's no reason the move towards more localization couldn't work to specifically ensure crop diversity (indeed, it already is). 

I have heard of goiter regions. Smaller scale, sustainable food systems address all types of soil defencies; there's no reason kelp or other sources can't be added to soil. Healthy soil is a basic tenet of this movement. 

Quoting LindaClement:

There are, particularly in central North America, some excellent reasons why 'local-only' food is silly and dangerous.

The broader and more diverse our food origins are, the less likely we will suffer in huge groups from local soil depletion and regional blights, famines and crop failures...

Ever heard of 'goiter regions'? 

Wonder why not?





shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 3:41 AM
This is a great story! Thank you for posting!

PS Except where it says too many of us watch cooking competition shows! I admit it - I am addicted to Chopped, I think Aron Sanchez is sexy and I have a girl crush on Amanda Freitag!
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