Food Systems, Chapter 4: The System completes the four-film Food Systems series with an in-depth look at home cooking, hunger, origins of poverty, and solutions to a growing food problem. Starting with the creation of a multi-course traditional Indian meal, the film examines how food and cooking shape community, family, and personal histories while also opening pathways to improving nutrition and food knowledge.
Throughout these discussions, Lidia Bastianich of the Lidia’s restaurant empire reshapes leftover vegetables and stale bread into delicious new dishes. Open House PGH and the Borland Green Cooperative discuss how their intentional communities share cooking and gardening responsibilities to strengthen their communities.
But despite the fascinating developments in the alternative food movement, these emerging opportunities require some amount of privilege and access to food. What happens if your access to healthy food is limited? Just Harvest’s Ken Regal, Felicia Lane Savage, and others discuss the history of hunger, posing the widespread issue as a symptom of poverty. After discussing the barriers to accessing food, emergency solutions like food banks and 412 Food Rescue along with longer-term educational efforts like Community Kitchen Pittsburgh and community gardens are surveyed.
But at the heart of food access issues is the neighborhood. Despite individual situations, it is often that a neighborhood is considered a food desert or a neighborhood lacks adequate transportation to areas with grocery stores.
With extensive commentary by Dr. Mindy Fullilove and Dr. Eva-Marie Simms, the impact of redlining and urban renewal on the Hill District is dissected, showing how external powers decimated the strong culture and community bonds that existed in the neighborhood. As Pittsburgh ramps up neighborhood redevelopment, adding food options, but altering existing culture, Chapter 4: The System aims to remind viewers that human capital, which is not always quantifiable, is worth more than money and that a new mentality is required to balance “progress” with quality of life.
The film also features Leah Lizarondo, Celeste Taylor, Karen Abrams, Brian Brown, Alice Julier, and many others.
The film’s music was created by David Bernabo, the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, gong healer Mike Tamburo, and Swiss jazz quintet Le Rex.