Aileen Suzara on decolonizing food traditions, and the power of food and food stories to heal
Amy Franceschini is an artist and educator who creates formats for exchange and production that question and challenge the social, cultural and environmental systems that surround her. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between humans and nature, and her projects reveal the ways that local politics are affected by globalization. In 1995, Amy founded Futurefarmers and in 2004, she co-founded Free Soil, an international collective of artists, activists, researchers, and gardeners who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space. In 2008, Amy worked with the City of San Francisco to transform the plaza in front of City Hall into a modern victory garden, and to build gardens in people’s back yards. She is currently sailing from Oslo to Istanbul as part of Seed Journey, bringing seeds found in Norway and other points in the northern hemisphere to their center of origin in the Middle East and connecting with seed savers, farmers, bakers, activists and others along the way. Amy grew up on a farm in the Central Valley of California. In this episode, Amy talks with Chelsea about her victory gardens project in San Francisco, a Seed Journey to the Middle East, and the importance of not finding a common language.
Photo: RS 10 Christiania by Martin Høy
Jezra Thompson is the Program Supervisor of the Berkeley Public School Gardening & Cooking Program, where she leads a team of garden educators and works with schools and community organizations to provide hands-on, place-based education to all students. She is a food system planner who focuses on community development, land use planning, and education. Jezra has worked on healthy food access and education at DC Greens, the California Farmers Market Association, and the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, and she writes for Civil Eats. In this episode, Delicious Revolution intern Rebecca Murillo talks with Jezra about the ways school gardens and kitchens provide a unique learning environment and an opportunity for students to be their own leaders in the world.
Kristyn Leach runs Namu Farm at the Sunol AgPark east of the San Francisco Bay. She grows vegetables for San Francisco restaurant Namu Gaji and seeds for the Kitazawa Seed Company. Kristyn grows both traditional and whimsical produce, focusing on Korean varieties and using organic, biodynamic, and permaculture practices without any fossil fuels. She discovered the foods of her Korean heritage further on in her life, as she was adopted as an infant and grew up in New York, where she later became a part of the urban gardening movement. Her fascination with shiso led her back to her roots and connected her with her Korean roots. In this episode, Devon talks with Kristyn about finding roots and community through plants, adapting Korean vegetables to California, and figuring out farming without fossil fuels.
In this special episode of Delicious Revolution, Chelsea speaks with Kathleen, a trainee at the Homeless Garden Project, about her experience. This episode is a companion to episode #30, our interview with Darrie Ganzhorn, the director of the Homeless Garden Project.
Darrie Ganzhorn is the executive director of the Homeless Garden Project, a 3-acre organic farm and garden in Santa Cruz, California where, as the mission statement reads, “people find the tools they need to build a home in the world.”
Lexa Walsh is a longtime artist and cultural worker based in the Bay Area. She has also lived, worked, exhibited and toured internationally. She founded the experimental music, performance and film venue the Heinz Afterworld Lounge, worked for many years as a curator and administrator at CESTA, an international art center in Czech republic, whose team created radical curatorial projects to foster cross-cultural understanding. She co-founded and conceived of the all women, all toy instrument ensemble Toychestra. She founded and organizes Oakland Stock, the Oakland branch of the Sunday Soup network micro-granting dinner series that supports artists’ projects, and launched the Librarification tumblr, which hosts artist resources. Her silo-busting project Meal Ticket brings people who don't normally eat with each other together for a meal. In this episode, Lexa talks to Chelsea about meals that bring people together across difference, creating temporary utopias, and collecting recipes for food end everything.
Jessica Prentice is a founder of Three Stone Hearth, a Community Supported Kitchen and worker-owned cooperative in Berkeley, California. She has loved cooking for as long as she can remember. In 1996 she completed the professional Chef’s Training at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. She worked as the Chef of the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin from 1997-2001, where she founded the Headlands Hearth Bakery and Café in 2001. Jessica educated herself in sustainable agriculture issues, and in 2002 was hired as the first Director ofEducation Programs for the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Jessica coined the word “locavore” and co-created the Local Foods Wheels. She is the author of Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection. Recently, she has been writing about new and very old models of cooperative work. In this episode, Jessica talks with Chelsea about making a worker-owned and community supported kitchen, and inviting people into their own kitchens with good ingredients
Michaela Leslie-Rule is a digital media producer, storyteller and social scientist. As the owner of Fact Memory Testimony she has been fortunate to collaborate with ITVS, Memphis Music Initiative, Community Foundation for Monterey County and Nike and Firelight Foundations’ Grassroots Girls Initiative. Embedded in Michaela’s approach to research, advocacy and communication is elevating constituent voices through the use of storytelling. She is particularly interested in participatory methods for measuring and documenting social and organizational change, and has designed and implemented participatory projects on four continents. She uses a story-centric approach to produce multimedia projects and advocacy campaigns. As the producer of IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology, Global Fund for Women’s global advocacy campaign and multimedia project, she curated and oversaw the creation of five online storytelling galleries, designed and implemented an international girls’ hackathon and oversaw a coordinated advocacy effort between the Fund and UN Women demanding equal access to and control of technology for women and girls worldwide. In this episode, Michaela speaks with Chelsea about paying attention to culture in public health and nutrition, the complexity of healthy food choices, the bridging the generational gap in food knowledge.
Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is an artist, writer, and educator who understands art as a strategy to connect personal and public histories. Her research focuses on decolonizing the hierarchy of the senses and impact of migration. Raised in Los Angeles and based in Oakland, she is Indian and Japanese Colombian American. Sita holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary art and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. She is a founding member of the People's Kitchen Collective in Oakland, California along with Jocelyn Jackson and Saqib Keval. Together, they produce community meals that narrate our migration. The goal of The People's Kitchen is to not only fill our stomachs but also nourish our souls, feed our minds and fuel a movement. In this episode, Sita talks with Chelsea about the People’s Kitchen Collective, decolonizing foods and remedies, and magical ingredients that travel the world.
Anna Lappé is a bestselling author and widely respected educator, known for her work as an expert on food systems and as a sustainable food advocate. She is the co-author or author of three books and the contributing author to ten others. Anna’s work has been translated internationally and featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, Oprah Magazine, among many other outlets. Named one of TIME magazine’s “eco” Who’s-Who, Anna is a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé. She is also the founder and director of the Real Food Media Project, which uses creative movies, an online movie contest, a web-based action center, and grassroots events to grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. Her latest book, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, was named by Booklist and Kirkus as one of the best environmental books of the year. Anna is also the co-author of Hope’s Edge, which chronicles doc ial movements fighting hunger around the world, and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, showcasing the ecological and social benefits of sustainable food with seasonal menus from chef Bryant Terry. In this episode, Anna speaks with Chelsea about the connections between food systems and climate change, debunking the myth that we need toxic chemicals to feed the world, and food movement’s growing influence in popular politics.
Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC in New York, organizing restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants. ROC now has 10,000 members in 19 cities nationwide. The story of Saru and ROC is chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times "Public Lives" section in 2005, and was named one of Crain's "40 Under 40" in 2008, 1010 WINS's "Newsmaker of the Year," and one of New York Magazine's "Influentials" of New York City. Saru co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, and wrote Behind the Kitchen Door, and, most recently, Forked: A New Standard for American Dining. In this episode, Saru talks with Chelsea about the struggle for pay and decent working conditions in restaurants, the ROC’s innovative collaborations in labor organizing, and the reasons people who like good food should care about labor politics.
Hillary Sardiñas is a pollination ecologist and naturalist. She has a PhD from UC Berkeley, where she studied the ability of small-scale on-farm native plant restorations to contribute to both wild bee conservation and farm viability through increased yields due to heightened crop pollination. Hillary blogs about current pollinator-related research, translating science into key points for the public. Hillary is the Pacific Coast Pollinator Specialist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a non-profit dedicated to the protection of wildlife and their habitat. Hillary provides technical assistance to farmers incorporating pollinator habitat on their farms. She also conducts a variety of educational events throughout the West Coast. In this episode, Hillary talks to Chelsea about the incredible diversity of native pollinators, the threats they face, and how they contribute to our food system.