And the Winner is ... for Best Sustainable Food and Farming Documentary
Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to the top five short films, chosen from more than 150 submissions.
"The winning films, though diverse in style, perspective and place, share common themes: revival of pride in farming as a way of life, resilience of rural communities and cities growing food sustainably, and renewal of respect for the labor and natural resources at the heart of food production," according to a Real Food Media Contest press release.
The winning films are:
Grand prize: Homeward, by Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine of The Perennial Plate in Minneapolis, MN.
Tired of seeing friends and family leaving their community in Mexico for the U.S. entrepreneurial farmers in Hidalgo created a thriving cooperative, keeping their families together with organic oregano.
As the grand prize winner, Homeward will be screened at the Food & Farm Film Fest in San Francisco, CA next month.
First runner-up and "People’s Choice" winner: Green Bronx Machine* by Brendan Van Meter of Suffern, NY.
Green Bronx Machine feeds the minds, hearts and stomachs of students in the poorest congressional district in America. Stephen Ritz and his community plant school gardens and harvest organic citizens.
*Green Bronx Machine was also selected as the ‘People’s Choice’ winner, earning nearly 2,000 online votes from the film’s supporters.
Second runner-up: A Greene Generation, by Tim Grant of Charlotte, NC.
In rural western North Carolina the Greene family runs a small, organic family farm. Fourteen-year old Nathaniel Greene and his siblings are passionate about caring for their pigs, their land and about producing good food.
Third runner-up, tied: Who Keeps the Beekeepers, by Timothy Powers of St. Petersburg, FL.
We've heard about the bees, but what about the beekeepers? The voices of the last remaining beekeepers talk about the future of our food supply.
Third runner-up, tied: The Gift, by Jean-Marc Abela of Montréal, Québec.
On a small speck of land off the island of Vancouver, Dan Jason farms seeds. In this poetically-shot short film, Jason shares his vision of the bounty of nature.
A well-known panel of judges representing diverse perspectives on the food system made the selections.
Contest judges included:
- Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author, actress, model and television host
- Michael Pollan, journalist and author, Omnivore’s Dilemma
- Robert Kenner, Academy Award-nominated director, Food Inc.
- Eric Schlosser, journalist and author, Fast Food Nation
- Johanna Blakley, managing director, Norman Lear Center, USC
- Byron Hurt, director and producer, Soul Food Junkies
- Alice Waters, Chez Panisse and Chez Panisse Foundation
- Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute
- The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)
- Emily Zweber, organic farmer
Click here and check out all 10 short films that made it to the first annual Real Food Media Contest finals.
Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.
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Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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