By Nicolette Anderson ’16
February is Food on Film month, and on Feb. 2, the Food Studies theme partnered with the Athena Cinema to kick off the first showing of the spring Food on Film series with Matt Wechsler’s Sustainable.
Through the eyes of a passionate seventh-generation family farmer in Illinois, Marty Travis, the film explored the complexity of influences that affect our collective definition of the word “sustainable.” Wechsler’s broad scope of storytelling focused food at the heart of many of the issues faced in our nation now, including systematic nutritional deprivation, financial challenges for small-scale farming communities, environmental consequences of global monoculturing agribusinesses, and the true value behind food as it changes with each generation.
After the film, audience members joined together with Food Studies Theme Director Dr. Theresa Moran, Plant Biology Associate Professor Dr. Art Trese, John Wood of Amesville’s own Homecoming Farm, and Natalie Horvath of GreenEdge Gardens, also in Amesville. As comments probed the intricacies of establishing a local model of a sustainable food system, one young participant shared her challenges to answer the timeless question, “Where do I fit in?”
In this age of feverishly-formed social connections made possible by ever-increasing access to technology, the ironic struggle in communities lie in seeking reconnection with nature and each other. The panelists’ final words centered around raising a consciousness about food and learning to bring lasting change to our doorsteps while still staying within our means.
The event was co-sponsored by the Food Studies theme, the Common Experience Project on Sustainability, and Alden Library.
Next up for the Food on Film Series is the cult classic and ramen-Western, Tampopo on Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.