Albert Einstein and me
You read that right. The Post Growth Institute selected the all-time top 100 contributors to a paradigm shift. No, I'm not there - but they also list the 100 honorable mentions, and there I sit, with Einstein as well as Michael Pollan, Jared Diamond and Jane Goodall. In your day-to-day-life of dreams and setbacks you can wonder if you are making any difference – or a difference big enough to matter. This honor gives me juice for the journey. It is a reflection of my decades long efforts to promote the simple idea of having “enough” at a material level so we can soar in our hearts and souls and service.
Join in on this lollapalooza of sustainability. What a line-up of the “greats” of this movement! You can join in for free through The Shift Network which produces tele-seminars with a global reach using the Maestroconference platform, what I call conference calls on steroids because you can raise your hand, take polls and get in small group discussions – all from your telephone.
My title is: Transforming Your Relationship with Food – and is based on a year plus of local eating experiments and now writing a book about it. This taste might be delicious enough, but if you want more, why not join me on the learning journey, Taste of Brazil. See below
Food! We eat daily. We depend on food. The well-being of future generations depends on how well we treat the soil and seeds, how well we utilize diminishing resources like water and fossil fuels, how active we are building thriving regional food systems. The future of food is up to all of us - yet we know so little about how food gets from field to fork. Come learn by exploring the food networks in one of the most populous sprawling cities in the world.
We’ll spend a packed, enlightening week in Sao Paulo and environs
* to see how the food system of this sprawling metropolis works to feed 23 million people,
* to eat great Brazilian food,
* to learn from experts,
* to travel with people who care and
* to catch some of the joie-de-vivre of the Brazilian people.
The food system that feeds you is largely invisible. It is a logistical triumph, and it is more fragile than we care to know. We’ll pull back that Wizard of Oz screen and see how it works – from massive warehouses to well tended Permaculture farms - so you can understand it and see how to be involved in your life and community in assuring safer, healthier, affordable, regional food for all.
This trip will attract eco-tourism travelers, academics, activists, agriculturalists, advocate for policy shift – as well as eaters who want “a taste of Brazil”. The rich mix of participants alone will help us all learn.
* We’ll visit a well-established MST (Landless Worker’s Movement) Farm. These farms, which started as squats organized to redress injustice, and education centers in popular democracy, were part of the movement that put past president Lula in office. I visited one in 1991 when I attended the First World Social Forum in Brazil – let’s see how far they’ve come in a decade.
* We’ll visit an enormous warehouse which is a distribution point for food for the whole country. Logistics on a massive scale.
* We’ll have lectures on Fome Zero, Brazil’s revolutionary commitment to end hunger, and Slow Food.
* Every night we’ll taste different Brazilian cuisine.
* Our aware winning guides from the Aoka eco-social-tourism company will help you every way possible to maximize the value you get from participating. Plus, they can help you if you want to tack on more days and more destinations.
I've worked hard to keep the cost as low as possible. This is two trips in one: a learning journey with great workshops with experts and a Brazilian adventure with great food and good accommodations.
Special until May 31, 2012: $2,490 exclusive of airfare.
Full price after June 1, 2012: $2,590 exclusive of airfare.
If you are a student, you may be able to get academic credit for the learning journey through your institution. If you commit to inform and inspire your community through talks or events, you may be able to raise part of the money that way – either in sponsorships before or in your lectures later. If food and food systems is part of the big contribution you want to make to the world, perhaps a Kickstarter campaign could raise what you need from your networks. We’ll help you get really creative in offset the cost of this learning journey.
You’ll notice a theme! I’ve turned my attention to local food – eating it, researching it, and writing about it. For me, working on food security, justice, sovereignty, accessibility, sanity, wholesomeness is the richest work I’ve done to date on sustainability. No longer trying to staunch the flow of resources out of the earth and into landfills via consumerism, I’m now working to literally change how we eat so that future generations can eat.
Eating closer to home means more vital local economies, healthier, fresher, more nourishing food and “relational eating” – caring about, investing in and ingesting of the communities we live in. relational eating is an act of belonging, not just eating anywhere food, anytime you want, bought in anonymous outlets that require nothing more from you than money. I’m almost done with the second draft of this book on shifting from being a consumer in the endless food-courts of the world to becoming an eater in a local food system. It’s due in 6 months and I have a shot at delivering a wonderfully human and useful book for eaters everywhere.
Follow my progress by liking the page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlessingTheHandsThatFeedUs. I’m posting links daily to the wealth of inspiring and hopeful articles I find as I write.
"Local food?" says Phyllis Wertzl my comic alter, a Jewish mother come to visit her daughter Rachel on Whidbey Island, "In New York all food is local. We go down to the street and it's right there."
If you aren’t on Whidbey you may not care about Comedy Island, my improv and sketch comedy troupe. I simply want you to know that people are laughing their heads off while we knock their socks off – quite a clean up job at the theater every time we perform. It’s feeding my soul and realizing a dream. I always wanted to be Lily Tomlin when I grew up. Throw in Whoopie Goldberg, Ana Devere Smith, Eve Ensler and Elaine May... Perhaps I'll live long enough for that too.
I’m grateful to be alive in these times, with friends and networks like you working along side me to leave this world in better shape than we found it. Boomers are the generation who thought we could stop the bomb, stop overshoot, replace toxics with love. It’s a bigger job than any of us imagined, but we have generations behind us to encourage us and generations ahead of us we can support to keep on with the work. Through studying local food systems – the ones that are growing up in the cracks of the sidewalk, not the industrial strength ones that are crumbling by their own weight - I am gaining hope for the future because I see it growing greener in front of my eyes.
It is a time of choice. In my book I suggest that at very least we each sprout seeds on our kitchen counters. The seed is the future. Seed, soil, sunlight and water = life. Be nourished by watching a small garden in a glass jar – and be nourished by eating them. From there, graduate to container gardens, backyard gardens, community gardens, school gardens, food bank gardens, market gardens... and pretty soon you'll see the world growing. Enjoy this film - and then:
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