Questions Unanswered

Tuesday we screened at Sacramento State. It was a day of recovery, largely. We captured footage, logged, e-mailed and generally enjoyed the experience of not being on the way somewhere, or on the way out of somewhere. 

The nutrition club there, with Tarra and Shauna, who did an incredible job of putting together a very smooth, well attended event. On that note, about 150 folks filled the room, and I introduced the film, thanking the partner organizations who made it possible, and outlining our 3 core purposes for the screening series. Thank Farmers, Support Young Farmers, Food Choices Matter. 

The panel following featured a really really cool idea, which was to take questions from the audience at random, and to use those to drive the conversation. Kevin, the student moderator, chose questions and directed them to panel members. There were some great questions in there, about resources being used through agriculture, that one I tackled- mentioning that alternative agriculture can often save natural resources because of the decreased distances that animals and produce have to travel to reach the people who eat it. Less miles, basically meaning less fuel used. and about how Joy Culley of Lucky Dog Natural Beef- talked about how they raise their animals and sell them directly to customers, about the health benefits of eating grass-finished beef. One of Lucky Dog's customers, Danny, who owns a local market- Taylors Market- mentioned that the public is often completely unaware of what is going on, citing the marketing of "Angus" breed of cattle, which defined by the USDA only means that 51% of it's body is covered by black, and has absolutely no tie to the linneage or kind of cattle that is actually being processed and sold as Angus beef. A fact that explains why "Angus" is ubiquitous.



One farmer in the audience circumvented the notes in a basket idea by asking direct questions about the ins and outs of processing, which Jan- a state inspector of meat and eggs- discussed in great detail. The back and forth was a bit esoteric, meaning that only those who truly understand the issue being discussed had any idea of what was going on. 

Katy, from the Beef Council, pointed out that conventional agriculture is constantly improving its resource efficiency, and that they will strive to get better when it comes to fuel, water and ecological impact in the years ahead. 

There were many unanswered questions in the basket when we stopped the conversation, and I suppose there are no answers to those questions unasked. 

We said goodbyes and thank yous and prepped for an early morning shoot in Oroville, CA with Megan Brown.

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