On Wednesday, after a long morning of interviews and filming, Farmer D along with Ellie Mae (sorry, Jordanne … I know enough already!) made a visit to the Westside to speak at a UCLA. Thanks, Pam and Eddie, for the invite, and a warm welcome to all you UCLA students!
UCLA’s Education for Sustainable Living Program is an entirely student-initiated, student-led educational program, including a lecture series that brings world renowned authors, activists, and academics to University of California Campuses to speak on the interdependent and interconnected nature of reality and the crises of the 21st Century. Over 1,000 students from across the state have participated to date, and over 50 Action Research Team (ART) Projects have been formed. The program was first started at UCLA, and since has spread state wide to UC’s and a couple Cal States. At UCLA the program has three components: a weekly lecture series; a film series; and action research teams (which work on making the UCLA campus more sustainable).
For the lecture series, this class is covering a different topic regarding sustainability each week, having only have 10 weeks with many important issues going on in the world that need to be brought to people’s attention. A very important aspect of this class is that it is not meant to just inform people about issues, but it is meant to empower people to take action on these issues, and have clear options provided to them on how they can help.
This quarter the class has devote their second week to FOOD. The class outline titled “The Food We Eat” which would cover:
-The importance of organic:
Conventional food is the use poisons sprayed on the food we eat
Rates of cancer and miscarriages are higher in an areas sprayed with pesticides and areas that use herbicides.
Discussion of carcinogenic pesticides illegal in the European Union and Legal in the states.
-The importance of Local:
discussion of green house gases emitted from transfer of food
food is one of the biggest contributers to climate change
according to United Nations report, beef consumption is the number one contributer to climate change (I haven’t personally seen the report, wondering if this is true)
average carrot in US is shipped from 1500 miles away
Other topics regarding food:
-bringing food back to the center of the family
-food is what unites us all, nourishes us, and keeps us alive
-slow real food vs. processed fast food
-strange ingredients/ chemicals in what we call ‘food’
-food thats produced in corporate factories vs. at home, or made in restaurants- made with care
The class was 2 hours and Farmer D was the second speaker giving a 40 minute lecture (and video presentation) on food and our seed supply. It’s worth the wait because a tromboncino squash makes cameo appearance and there’s something to do with three cents. Be scared and inspired all at the same time. It’s time to take back our food and seed supplies – it’s up to each and everyone of us.
Jordanne commented to those of us who stayed on the urban homestead that even though she’s known about such food and seed issues since she’s read about and heard Farmer D discuss these issues at the dinner table, after his presentation to the UCLA class she was and I quote “psyched.” OK, they better hurry up and put up that video, I’d really like to see it!
I say that Farmer D should go out and speak more often, but then he wouldn’t be farming now, would he?