February 09 2024 at 12:00AM
Perspective: Food Forest Screening and Discussion
The PMI-SFBAC Sustainability Program kicked off 2024 with a screening and discussion of the documentary Food Forest. The film takes the viewer on a journey through several Eden-esque food forests in Europe alongside landscape architect Louis De Jaeger on his bicycle. Each food forest pioneer gives their input on the food forest farming system’s contributions towards reversing global warming, sustainable food production, restoring biodiversity, healing the human psyche, and more.
The lively discussion took place on a Wednesday evening over Zoom. The Green Team had originally planned on segmenting the discussion into breakout rooms facilitated by PMI volunteers, but the group was so engaged and the conversation flowed so organically that facilitator Doug Hahn pivoted to keeping the discussion among the larger group. Topics discussed included other films such as "Common Ground," books like "You are what you Eat" and "Underworld," and local farms and organizations where Bay Area volunteers can make an impact on the local level today. One attendee, Julia Eden, made the excellent point that starting in your own backyard and focusing on the tangible food production relationships you can make with others in your local community effectively shifts the power away from Big Ag.
Coming from a developing country, where sustainability often takes a backseat to more immediate concerns, attending the discussion was truly inspiring.
Witnessing the genuine passion and commitment of so many individuals towards educating people, raising awareness about our ecosystem, and sharing their individual experiences was really encouraging and insightful. One participant's story about their neighborhood encounter with raccoons resonated deeply. Building a fence to keep them out disrupted the natural balance, leading to a surge in rat sightings. This is a reminder of how our nature's ecosystem works and how our interventions can sometimes have unintended consequences.
Often, in my experience, sustainability discussions are led by news headlines or the actions of figures like Greta Thunberg. Hearing from everyday people with diverse professional backgrounds actively contributing to positive change was incredibly motivating.
As a current volunteer in the Sustainability Program, this discussion sparked my desire to learn more and explore how I can contribute more meaningfully. It encouraged me to be more mindful of my daily choices, from purchasing decisions to individual actions, and strive to make a positive impact, even in small ways.
Note from VP of Sustainability: Join us for our upcoming event on Feb 28, Careers in International Development and Sustainable Development in the Congo.