If someone told you that they could solve the problems of the world, would you believe them? In many ways, this is the question I tried, and am still trying to answer this semester during my internship at MESA.
MESA, or the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture, is an organization that seeks to change the current food system by putting people over profit, leading the way through Earth Stewardship, equitable economies, and multicultural alliances worldwide. After twenty years in existence, MESA was interested in learning not just what the organization was doing, but also and more importantly, if and how their work impacted the lives of farmers and communities.
It is with great sadness and the inexplicable feeling of losing a limb (in a way), that I write this farewell blog post about the Food Collective. The Food Collective, my home for three years, my first venture into campus life, the first time I was given real responsibility for a legitimate business, the first time I met people who cared about the environmental and social consequences of our food system, all are coming to an end. However, it is with great excitement, that I make my next move in the world of food with all of the knowledge I have acquired in the hallowed (and sticker-coated walls) of the Food Collective.
I started this minor at the beginning of my transfer to Cal. I knew I wanted to work making changes in the food system but wasn’t quite sure in what capacity. My passion was ignited in wanting to help people have access to fresh, healthy food, especially those who are marginalized and often face food insecurity and diet related illnesses disproportionately to others. I studied the food system from many angles–public policy, sociology, and agro-ecological farming practices and each class made the same point over and over: our current food system is broken and it does not serve everyone equally, and yet I wanted to know how do we fix it?
Real Food Media uses powerful storytelling and media to inspire, educate, and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. My draw to Real Food Media began when I attended their film contest screening at Berkeley last year. After watching a series of short films that promoted a sustainable food system, which ranged from topics of urban gardens to fair trade, I felt so inspired to go out and make an impact on our food system. I began an internship with Real Food Media last summer, and was able to pick the internship back up again this semester through the Community Engagement Project.