Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of On Being, the podcast in which host Krista Tippett interviews the world’s leading thinkers in spirituality, religion, and neuroscience. I was delighted recently to discover an episode featuring journalist and environmental activist Rebecca Solnit. I’ve found solace, wisdom, and perspective in her books and essays more often than I can count. In the wide-ranging interview, Solnit said something that struck me to the core and reminded me why I do this work. “I want people to tell more complex stories and to acknowledge those players who aren’t in the limelight,” she said. We try to do this here at the magazine even if we don’t always hit the mark. As you know, Made Local Magazine tells the stories of the Sonoma County food system. We seek out stories from the six interrelated components of a constantly turning wheel: food production, processing, distribution and aggregation, markets and retail, preparation and consumption, and waste management. In this issue, which hits the stands the first week of September, you’ll notice a focus on waste. Even with more attention on the problem of waste—and it’s a big one with stark repercussions for future generations—we still haven’t hit the mark with waste processing and prevention in Sonoma County. Like my sorely missed permaculture teacher Toby Hemenway put it: “Americans think of trash as just going away . . . but where is away?” The same question, particularly with food waste, spurred the creation of the Sonoma County Food Recovery Coalition, which we cover in this issue. And then there’s the labor piece of the equation. How are our waste management workers treated and how does that connect to the environmental practices of our county’s waste hauling companies? We interviewed labor activists and a local garbage truck driver to learn more. Ultimately, to me, it comes down to this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., one that feels pertinent on so many levels in 2017: “All life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” As always, I invite you to email me with your stories, tips, and insights about the local food system. Who isn’t in the limelight and should be getting more attention? How can we make a community commitment to cut down on our waste?
Let me know!