ITVS and PBS Food Launch The Lexicon of Sustainability Shorts, Exploring Words and Ideas Behind Sustainable Agriculture

Part of a Cross-Platform Project That Includes a Website, Book, National Pop-Up Photography Shows, Classroom Curricula, and More

“Words are the building blocks for new ideas.” – Douglas Gayeton

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(San Francisco - March 15, 2012)— The Lexicon of Sustainability is multiplatform project based on the simple premise: people can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability. 

Filmmaker/photographer Douglas Gayeton and Producer Laura Howard-Gayeton have crisscrossed the United States for three years to learn the new language of sustainability from its foremost practitioners in food and farming. 

From Alice Waters on edible schoolyards to Temple Grandin on humane animal slaughter, Will Allen on food security and farmer John Peterson on community-supported agriculture — nearly 200 leaders in food and farming have contributed to the Lexicon. Their insights serve as the centerpiece for a cross-platform project that aims to educate and activate people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. The project includes a series of short films, a website (, large format “information art” photo collages, national pop-up photography shows, a book, a social network, and classroom curricula (in development). 

Beginning Tuesday, May 15, 2012, ITVS and PBS Food ( are excited to announce the online premiere of the first three shorts from The Lexicon of Sustainability, focused on food and farming: 

The Story of An Egg 
Can learning the meaning of a single term actually help change the food system? David Evans and Alexis Koefoed think so. These poultry farmers explain the real story behind such terms as “cage free,” “free range,” and “pasture raised” so that consumers can make informed decisions when they go to their local supermarket. 

Key Terms: Pasture Management and Pasture Raised vs Cage Free 

Key Subjects:
David Evans is a third generation farmer in west Marin County who raises pastured poultry and grassfed beef for customers across the San Francisco Bay Area.
Alexis Koefoed and her partner Eric run a 55-acre family farm in Vacaville, California where they raise pastured chickens for both eggs and meat. Soul Food Farm, Vacaville, California 

As consumers take increased responsibility for what they eat, many choose to become “locavores,” favoring foods grown or produced in their communities. By voting “local” with their pocketbooks, these consumers keep money in local economies and decrease their “food miles” and carbon footprint — of critical importance in confronting the challenge of climate change. 

Key Terms: Locavore, Heirloom vs Hybrid, Food Miles, Urban Farmer, Local is my Own Backyard, Connected Market 

Key Subjects:
Jessica Prentice is a chef and author who coined the term “locavore” to describe people like herself who lived primarily on food produced locally. Three Stone Hearth, Berkeley, California
Annabelle Lenderink is a Northern California farmer specializing in rare vegetable and fruit varieties. Star Route Farms, Bolinas, California
John Lagier is prominent grower providing a variety of citrus for the San Francisco foodshed. Lagier Ranches, Escalan, California
Novella Carpenter is the author of Farm City, the NY Times bestselling book about her many challenges in converting a vacant city lot into a thriving city garden. Ghost Town Farm, Oakland, California
Gary Jackemuk and Craig Ruggless converted their suburban backyard into a full-fledged farm providing produce and pastured poultry for farmers markets and restaurants across Los Angeles. Winnetka Farms, Winnetka, California
David and Shannon Negus run a family-owned company based in Yakutat, Alaska, that catches, processes, and ships sustainably managed salmon across the U.S. Mystic Salmon, Yakutat, Alaska

Our earliest descendants were hunter/gatherers who foraged for their food, were in tune with their surroundings, and ate with the seasons. After foraging was essentially replaced by agriculture, people became increasingly detached from where their food came from. Foraging offers people a way to reconnect with nature and reminds us that food is all around us. 

Key Terms: Wild Harvest, Fallen Fruit, Eating in Season, Sustainability 

Key Subjects:
Tyler Gray is a lifelong forager turned his passion into a business specialized in providing chefs around the U.S. with rare foraged edibles. Mikuni Wild Harvest, Vancouver, BC
David Burns and Austin Young, along with their partner Matias Viegener, have mapped the locations of fruit across Los Angeles, inspiring similar projects around the globe. Fallen Fruit Collective, Los Angeles, California
Iso Rabins is the leader of a San Francisco collective that forages edible plants across the city, often making discoveries in the most unlikely places. Forage SF, San Francisco, California
Running Squirrel is a Cherokee Indian who learned to forage from his mother, who taught him to watch how and what animals eat and to always leave something for whomever comes after. Near Dougan Falls, Skamania County, Washington. 

The Lexicon of Sustainability shorts are a Rumplefarm production, funded and presented by ITVS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

Filmmaker Bios

Douglas Gayeton (Director/photographer) is a filmmaker, photographer and writer.  Since the early ’90s he has created award-winning work at the boundaries of traditional and converging media for AOL, MSN, MTV, Napster, Electronic Arts, Vivendi, Ubisoft, National Geographic and PBS. His most recent documentary aired on HBO. Gayeton is the author of SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town published by Welcome Books. The award-winning book features a preface by the founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, and an introduction by Alice Waters. Gayeton lectures frequently on art, technology, and sustainability.  His photographs have been printed in Time and other magazines and are held in numerous museum and private collections around the world. 

Laura Howard-Gayeton (Producer) is the founder of Laloo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream.  She has a background as a seasoned commercials producer with over 20 years of industry experience.  As a senior executive at The End, Palomar Pictures, Tool of America, and Slo Graffiti, she pioneered the art of multilayered narrative approaches to film and video for hundreds of commercial clients. Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton live on a farm near Petaluma, California. 

About ITVS 
The Independent Television Service funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Thursday nights at 10pm on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens, and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by an historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue, and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing television audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. For more information about ITVS, visit ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. 

CONTACT: Krissy Bailey, 415-356-8383, ext 254

Posted on May 15, 2012