The Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies at UCLA, an incubator for new research and collaboration on storytelling, communications and media in the service of environmental conservation and equity, has collaborated with public broadcasting network KCET to create “Food Futures,” the third multimedia series in a yearlong partnership. The new digital series explores current innovations and visions for ecological and equitable food systems and covers diverse possibilities for the future of sustainable food.

Allison Carruth, associate professor of english at UCLA and faculty director of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies, serves as executive producer. Faculty members and graduate students from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television have also provided extensive contributions to the series.

Food Futures” programs are listed as follows:

  • “Are Eaters the Key to Better Restaurant Wages and Working Conditions?” — Discusses restaurant policies and how consumers can advocate for fair wages and working conditions.
  • “Wild Cuisines, Risky Futures: Reimagining What We Consider Edible Species” — Investigates a new sustainability blueprint.
  • “Tinkering with Heirloom Futures: The Journey of a Few Grains of Rice” — How Filipino rice dishes embody complex issues about modernity, climate change and the Anthropocene.
  • “Edible Insects: Chili-Lime Crickets and Mexican Culinary Traditions” — Discusses alternative protein in the United States and the cultural barriers to eating edible insects.
  • “After Prison, Working Toward a Healthier Food Future” — Examines how L.A. Kitchen teaches culinary skills.
  • “Portable Cultures, Food Futures: How to Make Injera in Los Angeles” — Narrates the steps and challenges faced in making a sustainable, multicultural dish in a cosmopolitan city.
  • “The Global Potato: Food Futures of the Past” — Addresses how the potato not only represented a hope for a different kind of food future in 1664 for England, but also how it provided sustenance when no other resources were available.