Words Are the Building Blocks for New Ideas

Posted on May 16, 2012

ITVS and PBS Food are proud to present three videos from Douglas Gayeton’s The Lexicon of Sustainability multiplatform project, which uses photo collage, animation, and hand-written typography to explore terms and ideas behind sustainable agriculture.


The Lexicon of Sustainability is based on a simple premise: people can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t even know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability. For the past three years Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton have crisscrossed the USA to learn this new language of sustainability from its foremost practitioners in food and farming.  Alice Waters on edible schoolyards.  Wes Jackson on reinventing wheat farming.  Joel Salatin on embracing the value of saner farming practices.  Vandana Shiva on the global imperative of protecting seeds.  Paul Stamets on how mushrooms can save the world.  Will Allen on Food Security.  Temple Grandin on the humane slaughter of animals.  Farmer John on the revolutionary idea of community-supported agriculture.


In all, nearly two hundred leaders in food and farming from across the country have contributed their valued experiences to this rapidly growing Lexicon of Sustainability.  These insights have been translated into large format “information art” photo collages,  a series of short films, and pop up shows across the USA.  Study guides, a book, and lastly a social network of good ideas, a place where people can dig deeper into these terms (and even add to our ever-evolving lexicon), are also under development. Today's featured video takes a look into the “The Story of an Egg”. Follow poultry farmers David Evans and Alexis Koefoed as they explain the real meaning 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:


Watch The Story of an Egg on PBS. See more from The Lexicon of Sustainability.

By illuminating the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture, the Lexicon of Sustainability educates, engages, and activates 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. Audiences are encouraged to participate by adding and defining their own words of sustainability to the lexicon, curating a Pop-Up show in their own communities, and joining a social network of individuals all key in driving the sustainability revolution. Click here to learn more about the Lexicon of Sustainability, watch the short films, and explore terms!


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