'Food Sense' Documentary Coming to Public TV

Food Sense, a one hour documentary that examines our nation's food supply - from farming and manufacturing to processing and shipment - begins airing on public television stations nationally on Oct. 22. You need to check with your local public TV station to see when it airs in your market.

Food journalist and analyst Phil Lempert follows a typical American breakfast from the farm to the table and examines the issues associated with it - animals, the environment, food safety, fuel prices, day laborers, farmers, retailers, consumers - as well as the food industry’s ability to sustain the same food quality and availability for a rapidly expanding American population over the next 10, 20, even 30 years.

Lempert bills himself as “Supermarket Guru” on ABC News and NBC’s Today Show. He and a group of industry experts lead this look at the food industry.

Filmed in part at the famous Café Hon in Baltimore, Food Sense explores the manufacturing and delivery processes behind coffee, sugar, milk, eggs, bacon, orange juice and strawberries while examining the impact of those processes on the environment.

 “With the massive recalls of contaminated food, we all need to become more informed to help ensure our food is safe,” said Phillip Guthrie, director of station relations for Maryland Public Television. “Food Sense offers viewers a valuable starting point for some very important discussions we should all discuss at the dinner table.”

Viewers will be introduced to both organic and conventional food production methods and learn about the potential sustainability of each model. Lempert then introduces “locale” growing and production methods and explores the positive environmental impact of buying local produce from farmer’s markets.

The show also travels to Chicago and New York to uncover the food pricing process. Viewers see the role of the Mercantile Exchange in the food chain and how the staggering cost of packaging, transporting and refrigerating our food supply impacts the environment and food prices.

“Every consumer has a responsibility,” Lempert explains. “Each one of us has to be as sustainable as possible, understanding what impact we have on the planet.”

Viewers will also be invited to an interactive website with chat boards moderated by Lempert and others: www.philsfoodsense.org has more than a dozen RSS feeds, links to multiple blogs, video from the program, YouTube video and integration with multiple social media sites.

Food Sense is funded in part by Monasanto and IBM, distributed by NETA, and produced by Maryland Public Television and Kismetic Productions.

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