By Jessica Burnette-Lemon
Food insecurity is a huge problem for many people in the Bay Area, even in an agricultural hub like Northern California. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t producing enough food. What’s even more mind-boggling is that roughly 30-40% of the food we grow goes to waste, uneaten.
The new short film from the BAGT Lens team, “Food as Medicine: Community, Health and Resilience,” shows what some dedicated, inspiring people are doing about that disconnect. Between them, they’ve created food distribution hubs at elementary schools, built a community kitchen for unhoused neighbors, and fed those who needed it with food that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
The film, produced in partnership with StopWaste, premiered May 27 in a special event that included a panel discussion with the “solutionaries” featured. They share what led them to take action on food insecurity and food waste, what inspires them to keep doing the work, and what we can all do to reduce waste and nourish each other.
“How we treat our waste,” said panelist Wanda Stewart of Common Vision, “has all the lessons for how we treat our people and our communities. Let’s live in a way that allows us all to survive and get past the illusion of scarcity.”
Check out the event recording to see what we can all do to remake the food system on a human scale, giving everyone access to nourishment while reducing food waste and combating climate change.
Watch the film and panel discussion
“Food as Medicine: Community, Health and Resilience” was created by BAGT Lens team members Maya Curry, Elisabeth Gallego, and Dennis Chang.
Wanda Stewart, Common Vision
Xochitl Moreno, Essential Food and Medicine
AshEL Seasunz Eldridge, Essential Food and Medicine
Grace Liao, Berkeley Food Network
Holden Bussey, Berkeley Food Network
By Brienne Wong
Want to have nutrient-dense food and improve the ecosystem, all from the comfort of your home? Try regenerative farming!
According to Regenerative International, regenerative farming “reverses climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring biodiversity in the soil.... It uses the power of photosynthesis to close the carbon cycle and improve soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density.”
But what does that mean in practice? Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, owners of Singing Frog Farms, use a regenerative farming model to increase the resilience of the soil to create more nutrient-dense food. The regenerative farming model focuses on soil health, which consists of:
By Brienne Wong
In our latest Soluntaries Speak event, Central Coast farmer Javier Zamora from JSM Organics spoke with Anne Freiwald of Vital Cycles about his experience growing organic strawberries and mentoring the next generation of organic farmers.
Javier got his start growing vegetables in Mexico with his family, and later established JSM Organics in 2017 in Royal Oaks, California. When he started his farm, he created a model that focused on accessibility and sustainability, after seeing the challenges of being a small farmer competing with big corporations. People are very receptive to his model because they are interested in knowing where their food comes from, and his farm allows people to see how the strawberries and flowers are grown.
MAKE EVERYDAY EARTH DAY
This year’s Earth Day is on Thursday April 22, and it takes on a new significance after we experienced wildfires, extreme heat, and hurricanes in 2020. Incorporating one new activity that becomes a habit can make a lasting impact on the environment. Here are 20 activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day and everyday:
1. Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Calculating your carbon footprint will help you understand how much greenhouse gas you are producing and start to identify ways to reduce it to combat the climate crisis. Knowing your carbon footprint gives you a baseline to create a goal to take action. Here is a helpful carbon foot calculator.
The summer of 2020 was a season most Californians would like to forget. Wildfires raged throughout the state, smoke blocked out the sun and made the simple act of breathing hazardous.
But in BAGT’s latest Solutionaries Speak interview, regenerative rancher Doniga Markegard said the experience shouldn’t be something we block out.
“We need to remember [the fires] and put ourselves back there on a regular basis and remember how we felt...we couldn’t breathe the air...and take action to get into the right relationship with the land,” she shared in conversation with Anne Freiwald of Vital Cycles: Creating Personal & Planetary Resilience.
By Patricia Hunting and Mike Cain
Buzzwords in the environmental world keep evolving. Here is our list of top 10 sustainability terms you need to know.
10) Sustainability. At first, everything and anything related to the environment was “green.” Like most terms that go mainstream, it became overused. “Green” has now become “sustainable.” Sustainable systems seek to maintain and to not take away. However, we have discovered that sustainability is no longer enough—we need a more deliberate approach to combating climate change—now an ever-present force. We need to regenerate! Regeneration is the current way to describe how to not lose ground, better yet, how to revitalize and restore what is most needed in the fast-paced environmental movement.
By Patricia Hunting
No, I’m not retired!
Keeping a small mission-driven volunteer-led non-profit afloat has been a labor of love. Over the past twelve years, BAGT has given me the opportunity to constantly learn and be stimulated by changemakers and thought leaders I have met and worked with. But I also know that stepping back is my new reality. But when? How?
By Patricia Hunting
The idea for BAGT’s new Solutionaries Speak webcast series evolved from only educating our interns to sharing the actions of climate heroes with a wider online audience. Our new interview series highlights what these necessary and beneficial individuals and organizations are doing to promote healthy living practices, tackle issues to halt the climate crisis, and find positive solutions to urgent environmental problems.
We are currently lining up the same local partners we frequently visited when we conducted our pre-COVID in-person tours.
By Patricia Hunting
Never heard of a Resource Conservation District (RCD)?? These three letters carry huge importance. RCDs make up nearly 3,000 conservation district projects across the United States. They work directly with landowners to conserve and promote healthy soils, water, forests and wildlife. And so?