Are you food forward?
When I came up with the name Food Forward I think I had the term “fashion forward” in mind, i.e. someone who wears clothes that are bold, innovative and even edgy. That’s what I wanted Food Forward to be about, people creating innovative and bold solutions to an industrial food system gone off the rails. Food rebels.
It’s my secret desire to make food forward a term that people throw around as in: “Oh man. Check out that guy’s rooftop farm and rabbit hutch. He’s so food forward.”
But what exactly makes someone food forward and the kind of person I’d like to feature on Food Forward?
One of the best compliments I got was at the premiere screening of our pilot earlier this month at the Sonoma International Film Festival. After seeing our pilot episode on urban agriculture, a woman asked how we found such compelling characters. The answer is we spend a lot of time vetting potential characters in search of those who will be right for our show. To me that means the person has to satisfy several requirements.
They have to be engaged in some really food forward behavior. It’s not enough that they grow organic tomatoes. Lots of people do that. But if they grow organic tomatoes in soil composted from supermarket waste and are teaching inner-city youth how to grow and open small businesses selling compost and value added tomato products, now you’re talking food forward.
But doing something food forward isn’t enough. This is TV we’re making and as righteous and cool as someone’s work may be if that person can’t project passion, humor and pathos on camera they might as well be sitting at a desk reading a cue card. We want to inspire and entertain our viewers as well as educate them.
Finally, a good candidate for Food Forward has to be working on something that’s scaleable and can impact the food system at large. I’m all for crazy ideas and fringe thinking, but if there’s no larger contribution to the common good what’s the point?
If you know anyone who fits this description please send them my way.