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KCET and Link TV Partner With UCLA’s Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) For New Digital Series FOOD FUTURES

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​Nichole Goodman

New Innovations and Visions for Sustainable Food Systems Explored

In Series of Seven Segments at and;

Exclusive First Look at Articles Featured on Civil Eats

Heirloom rice terraces in the Philippines. Image courtesy of KCET’s digital series FOOD FUTURES
Heirloom rice terraces in the Philippines. Image courtesy of KCET’s digital series FOOD FUTURES

Burbank, Calif. – Aug. 21, 2018 – KCETLink Media Group, a leading national independent nonprofit public broadcast and digital network, today announced a new digital series called FOOD FUTURES in partnership with UCLA's Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) to debut seven new digital stories that explore current innovations and visions for ecological, equitable food systems. The series looks beyond both agribusiness and farm-to-table, and covers diverse possibilities for the future of sustainable food in our region drawing on long histories of cultivation and eating. Allison Carruth, faculty director of LENS and Associate Professor of English at UCLA, is spearheading the project in partnership with Juan Devis, KCET’s Chief Creative Officer. FOOD FUTURES launches today on and

To expand the reach of the immersive reports, KCET has also partnered with Civil Eats, a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. The first of seven stories, “Are Eaters the Key to Better Restaurant Wages and Working Conditions?” was posted on Aug.14 which explores how customers can improve workers’ wages and working conditions in restaurants. Civil Eats will also host the second article in the series entitled “After Prison, Working Toward a Healthier Food Future” starting today at

The yearlong collaboration (2017-2018) between KCETLink Media Group and UCLA LENS experiments with different models and media for reporting environmental stories. The collaboration involves extensive contributions from faculty and MFA students in UCLA’s documentary film program in the School of Theater, Film and Television. KCET and UCLA LENS partnered earlier this year timed to the debut of the new season of EARTH FOCUS, debuting new environmental videos at that included “Taylor Yard: A Change of Heart in Los Angeles” and “Urban Ark Los Angeles.” The third series in this partnership will delve into:

-Restaurants as both biodiversity labs and income equality advocates

-Staple crops and ancient proteins as resilient foods for the future

-Culinary professions as important as farmers and other food producers to sustainable diets

The seven articles will be available on and and are listed as follows:

  • Are Eaters the Key to Better Restaurant Wages and Working Conditions?” - Looks closely at the policies restaurants can enforce and consumers can advocate for to ensure workers' wages and working conditions are fair and equitable.
  • Wild Cuisines, Risky Futures: Reimagining What We Consider Edible Species” - Investigates new sustainability blueprints used by the experimental chef
  • Tinkering with Heirloom Futures: The Journey of a Few Grains of Rice” - Tracing how the Filipino rice dishes cooked at RiceBar embody complex issues about modernity, climate change and the Anthropocene.
  • Edible Insects: Chili-Lime Crickets and Mexican Culinary Traditions” - Offers a taste of the current appetite for alternative protein in the U.S. and the cultural barriers to eating edible insects.
  • After Prison, Working Toward a Healthier Food Future” - Examines how L.A. Kitchen teaches culinary skills to those whose memories of eating "on the inside" remain fresh.
  • 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 made so many more individual futures possible, providing food where there otherwise would have been none.

*KCET and Link TV are expected to merge with PBS SoCal, subject to regulatory approvals.

Join the conversation on social media using #FoodFutures


KCETLink Media Group is an award-winning national independent, nonprofit, digital, and broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining, and transformative ways. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink is financially strong with $51 million in endowments that include a board-directed endowment funded by $65 million in proceeds from participation in the FCC Spectrum auction, and two additional endowments funded by recent gifts. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement and social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens seldom available in conventional American media. In 2017, KCET launched 140 hours of original programming and experienced 25% higher viewership over the previous year. KCETLink content is distributed nationally on Link TV via satellite on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 and on KCET in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through digital delivery systems including Apple TV, Amazon, and Roku. For more information please visit and Total video views across KCETLink’s own websites and OTT platforms grew 94% in 2017 over 2016.  For additional information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit or


The Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) is an incubator for new research and collaboration on storytelling, communications, and media in the service of environmental conservation and equity. We are a diverse network of faculty and students from across disciplines who explore how today’s environmental challenges connect to longer histories of imagining the natural world. At LENS, we begin with the idea that these challenges are as much cultural and political as they are scientific and technological.


Civil Eats is a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. The site publishes stories that shift the conversation around sustainable agriculture in an effort to build economically and socially just communities. Founded in January 2009, Civil Eats is a community resource of over 100 contributors who are active participants in the evolving food landscape from Capitol Hill to Main Street. Civil Eats was named the James Beard Foundation's 2014 Publication of the Year.

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