What is your favorite food? If you are like me, that’s an easy question to answer.
Let’s try some more difficult questions: Where does your favorite food come from, and what steps does it go through to get to your plate? Does it originate in many different large-scale farms in far away countries? With the average vegetable traveling 1500 miles from farm to table, that is a very likely answer. I hope it’s not too much of an assumption that there is some form of vegetable involved in your choice.
The upcoming documentary What’s on Your Plate? takes a refreshing look through the perspective of two eleven-year-olds’ eyes at what exactly we eat, where it comes from, and how we can access better options. I enjoyed films like Supersize Me and King Corn as they are entertaining, but take a hard look at our current food system and the problems of industry shaping our menu. What’s on Your Plate? follows Sadie and Safiyah as they talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in a quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.
The film is scheduled for release in Spring 2009, and the filmmakers have partnered with Working Films in preparation of it’s release to build a campaign in support of healthy, just and sustainable communities. This Monday we are hosting a Summit, bringing together non-profits, NGO’s, and governmental agencies focused on increasing access to healthy and affordable food; reducing obesity; and connecting local farmers to schools and families. Some organizations attending the meeting include Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Children’s Aid Society, Just Food, National Farm to School Network, Slow Food USA, Stone Hill Center for Food and Agriculture, and Sustainable Table, among others. By the end of the day we will have developed plans to use What’s on Your Plate? as a catalyst for change.
If you are already inspired to define what real food is, and you are a student, be sure to check out the YouTube video contest hosted by the National Farm to School Network. Produce a 30 second to 3 minute video that informs, inspires, and encourages student advocacy to restore connections to community, food, land, and place through Farm to Cafeteria programs and you’ll be eligible to win. Find out more about the contest and prizes on their channel.
Now I’m off to lunch!