Food Forward TV

A show about people changing the way we eat in America

What I believe

with 2 comments

Before I get too far down the road on this trip, literally and figuratively, I think it’s important to spell out what I hope to accomplish and some of the preconceptions I’ve packed along with me.

On the road.

First, the goals. Food Forward is a documentary TV series about the pioneers and innovators who are changing our food system. And does it ever need to change. Humans, animals and the planet itself all suffer from a system gone off the rails. The good news is there is a growing movement to create a more delicious, healthy and sustainable alternative. Over the course of my travels I want to more fully understand the depth and breadth of the movement by meeting the folks who are bringing these changes to life.

As I make my way across the county I’m guided by several notions. While I believe them to be true, I expect and even hope to have my beliefs challenged.

What I believe:

Small scale, locally sourced food is better:

  • I’d rather get my food from producers within an hour of where I live because I believe they’re more accountable to their customers, they keep jobs and dollars in the community, the shorter distance to market burns less fuel, local food roots me to a time and a place, and helps me understand where my food comes from.

…but big business and industry must a play a role in a better food system:

  • I shop at farmers markets as often as I can, but most people don’t. It’s a Pollanesque fantasy to imagine local farm stands and back yard garden plots replacing supermarkets and big ag, but that’s not going to happen, at least not until the price of oil doubles. Agribusiness is part of the problem, but it can be part of the solution. I’m keen to find out how.

Chemical-free food is better food:

  • Actually, I doubt I’m going to change my mind about this one. If there’s a choice (and there is) I’ll take my food without pesticides, herbicides, petroleum-based fertilizers, and antibiotics on the side. Wouldn’t you?

Good food can bridge the political divide:

  • Healthy food, healthy communities and a healthy environment are in everyone’s interest no matter what political affiliation you claim or no matter what Sarah Palin says. (Whatever happened to her, by the way?)

…and yet what we eat is largely a matter of class:

  • Biodynamic, locally grown produce costs more than a bag of frozen spinach at Costco. Growing your own produce and cooking it from scratch sounds like the right thing to do, but it’s hard when you’re working two jobs and have a houseful of kids. How the sustainable food world shakes its elitist rap is a real puzzle.

Change will come from the bottom up, not top down:

  • Those with political and economic power never give it up willingly. It must be demanded of them. The changes in the food system represent a fundamental break with the status quo that started at the grassroots level and it moving up. Who stands to benefit from this movement and the changes its bringing? Who stands to lose?

These are some of the beliefs and questions I have as I embark on this journey. I’m excited to see how this list will stand up over the miles ahead.


Written by stettholbrook

May 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I love what you are doing, and I too want to make the world a better place, through food. Food is the medium by which I am able to impact other peoples lives and impact the world in which I live.
    I’ve always been of the belief that I need to be the change that I want to see in the world.
    I’m making a differnce, on a small scale, because:
    a. I have a garden in my backyard (though not large, it’s at least start to manifest my dreams to create a farm, in which I live off the land as much as possible and get out of the grocery stores all together)
    b. I support local businesses (a new friend has started a co. called StartOrganic, where they build gardens in peoples backyards, to start fueuling the idea that we can trade and share what we grow in our neighborhoods.) Very utopian, and I love it 🙂
    c. I am a proud member of community supported agriculture. It does cost more, but the quality cannot be beat. There is nothing like REAL milk, eggs that taste like an egg should taste, fresh produce hand picked from a reliable source and delivered fresh to my door each week, meat that is humanely treated, and that I can feel good about eating…. I love my job, because I get to build relationships with people, through food. I get to build a relationship with the people I get my food from and in turn I get to share that with my clients.
    d. I am reaching out to the people I work with to spread the same enthusiasm I have for CARING about where our food comes from and caring about the quality of our food.
    e. In turn, I hope that my clients spread the word as well.
    f. My firm belief in this industry is that I don’t want to feed anyone food that I wouldn’t want to eat myself. The bottom line is that I “eat like I give a damn”
    ~ Thanks for sharing Stett, thank you for the thought provoking questions and I look forward to challenging my belief system as well and stretching out of my comfort zone to do more, help more, and hopefully do my part to make this world a better place.
    I’m inspired by what Food Foward is doing and I want to thank you for taking the time to shake things up.
    Keep up the good work.


    May 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm

  2. Hi Stett….I am a friend of your mothers. I am fascinated with your adventure and a true believer in your mission. “What I Believe” is very powerful…I also believe in all the advantages, large and small, of locally grown, chemical free food. I would like to be your shadow and visit the Food Forward places in Marin. Keep up the good work and don’t let the “Nights of Adventure” get you down….it’s just those kind of nights that will make a good documentary! The best to you and your awesome adventurous family! Donna

    donna rennie

    May 17, 2011 at 2:47 am

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