Nutrition school hosts screening of sustainable farming documentary

ASU's School of Nutrition and Health Promotion hosted a screening of TEDxManhattan's "Changing the Way We Eat" to educate about food, farming and the sustainable food movement. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

Edible Phoenix magazine and the ASU School of Nutrition and Health Promotion hosted the official viewing party of the 2012 TEDxManhattan documentary “Changing the Way We Eat” on the Downtown campus Saturday.

“Knowing that an individual experience is backed up by research or other information makes it all that more powerful,” said Pamela Hamilton, the publisher for Edible Phoenix who helped organize the viewing party.

TEDxManhattan brought together speakers with various backgrounds in food and farming to share their insights and expertise to look for new ways to enhance the sustainable food movement.

“The main thing is for consumers to ask questions,” Hamilton said.

The event began with a video clip of 11-year-old Birke Baehr who asked questions about issues impacting the American food system, urging people to know about farms and food.

Speakers emphasized the impact of meat in the human diet and the problems with proper labeling.

Trisha Olson, a dietitian, attended the viewing party to find out how she could bring the sustainability movement to Phoenix and the personal changes she could make to become more sustainable.

Scientists provided statistics about food quality as well as ways to improve the quality of food through labeling and enhancing farming practices.

“It’s sad to see a grocery store with a gorgeous arrangement of produce and question it,” dietician Vivian Mueller said at the viewing party.

Dr. David Wallinga, Senior Advisor in Science, Food and Health at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minn., presented the issue of how the current food system squanders antibiotics by relying on industries rather than local farms for their meat.

Dawn Cole, a global health major at ASU, said that she had heard most of the issues with farming and food before, but wanted to become more conscious of the social effects.

“We forget that we’re fighting for animal welfare, but not necessarily for farmer welfare,” Cole said. “It’s easy to forget that most people don’t have access to this information.”

Steve Ritz, a high school teacher who works with his students to create edible wall gardens in the city, presented his innovation through pictures, showing that, by engaging in sustainable practices, there can be reform.

Ritz said that reform starts first with the pockets, then the heart and then the mind.

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  1. Thrilled to see this article. As a South Bronx teacher who earned his Masters Degree at Arizona State University – I can assure you that amazing seeds were planted by the staff of ASU with me. Through my work and the staff at ASU and in particular Dr. Stan Zucker, I have been able to touch lives in ways I never even imagined. I carry the lessons learned at ASU with me every day into every classroom, community center, community farm, work force development site I enter!