Documenting A Precautionary Tale

corn growing in a field

Monday, January 29, 2018

Philip Ackerman-Leist and Douglas Gayeton will share insights from their three-year collaboration in capturing the dramatic story of how the town of Mals in the Italian Alps became the first town in the world to ban all pesticides. Growing from a group of accidental activists into savvy advocates for a ground-breaking public referendum, the citizens of Mals used the precautionary principle, direct democracy, and collective action to become an international model for pesticide-free communities.

Philip Ackerman-Leist is Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College, where he established the college’s organic farm, sustainable agriculture curricula, and the nation’s first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems. He and his family live in Pawlet, Vermont where they raise grassfed American Milking Devon cattle. His newest book is A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement. He is also the author of Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.

Douglas Gayeton co-founded the Lexicon of Sustainability in 2009 and continues to guide the project from a series of barns on the goat farm near Petaluma, California. Douglas is an information architect, filmmaker, photographer and writer who has created award-winning work at the boundaries of traditional and converging media since the early 90’s. He is the director of the GROWING ORGANIC series for USDA, the KNOW YOUR FOOD series for PBS, and author of both SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town, and Local: The New Face of Food & Farming in America.