Everyone knows we live with a broken food system, but often it is easier to focus on the bad news rather than the good. In fact, we are surrounded by communities that already know how to feed the world for our generation, and for generations to come. From Malawi to Michigan, people and organizations are building better ways to eat today so that all of us can eat well tomorrow. This knowledge demands to be shared and spread.
Changing the food system couldn't be more urgent. All signs point to that conclusion, whether you consider the droughts, floods and fires caused by climate change, the rise in global food prices, or that the health effects of our current food system is predicted to shorten children's lives. Better, SMARTER ways of growing food, and feeding the world are needed, now.
That's why we're developing a new documentary, book and multimedia project, called Generation Food.
We want to show how ordinary women and men around the world are overcoming obstacles and "setting the table" for themselves, their communities, and generations to come. Generation Food is our way of sharing the resilience and wisdom of these communities with you, and yours with them online, on screen, on paper and in person.
Led by documentary-making legend and award-winning director, Steve James, of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters, and best-selling author Raj Patel, of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved, our team of fourteen researchers has worked for over a year to find some of the most inspiring stories from across the world.
From a climate-change-ready farming system in Cuba, to a way of cooking and eating that transforms women's lives in Malawi, there are amazing experiences to share across the table, and across the world.
Stories That Matter
In the Peruvian highlands, for instance, indigenous farmers have lost a quarter of their growing season to climate change. In response, communities haven't just invented better ways to farm the 700 native varieties of potato at 11,000 feet, but also have markets with sliding-scale prices, to make sure that no one goes hungry for lack of money.
It is through sharing surprising ideas and deep knowledge that we can build the foundation for global food stability for generations to come. We are eager to launch Generation Food's online content platform to share peoples' ideas for action. We want to start filming a documentary. We want to work with communities around the world, including yours.
1. Join Us - become part of Generation Food. Connect with us online, let us know about your story, what you are working to change, and inspire more people.
2. Share Us - Help us by sharing Generation Food with your friends to help us reach as many people as possible. Post about us on Facebook, Twitter, or share a conversation over a meal. The simple act of sharing will help us raise awareness about our campaigns aims, catch the attention of more change-makers, and help us to get the project on the road. Best of all, it'll help spark the conversations we need to transform the way we eat today.
3. Follow Us - Keep in touch with the project and the campaign. Steve and Raj will be sending updates from Japan, Cuba, Peru and the United States.
We're @FoodGeneration on Twitter, and we've got some sample tweets to make sharing easier:
Help @_Raj Patel & Steve James (Hoop Dreams), tell stories abt the global food system in @FoodGeneration bit.ly/Otbpjk
Fight climate change & feed world? @_Raj Patel & Steve James (Hoop Dreams), want 2 show how @FoodGeneration bit.ly/Otbpjk
Zero hunger, full enjoyment. Join @_Raj Patel & Steve James (Hoop Dreams), 2 show better eats @FoodGeneration bit.ly/Otbpjk
@_Raj Patel & Steve James (Hoop Dreams), want to do fair trade filmmaking in @FoodGeneration bit.ly/Otbpjk Join us!
Your support will allow us to stop wondering "what can I do," and start asking "when do we start?"
While you wait for more news about Generation Food, we've a suggestion. Steve James' early masterpiece, Hoop Dreams, is available (albeit laced with adverts) for free below. RottenTomatoes calls it "One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time... Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America."
If you'd like a copy of your own, ad-free and full of good karma, we can help. In a few days, we'll start our crowdsourcing campaign, and we'll be giving away signed DVDs and even five signed VideoDiscs as thank-you gifts!
Thanks for visiting the Generation Food website! We're just starting to get up and running here, but you can already find a little about our project, our team, what the press thinks of Generation Food, and how to support us. Watch this space for updates from a global quest for ways that one generation is preparing the world to feed the next.