Food for Thought

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Students in the Spring 2023 Advanced Visual Journalism class were curious about sustainable food systems in the area. They ventured out to local farms, gardens, grocery stores and the Salish Sea to get a better understanding of what it takes to get food on our table from local sources. 

Sustainable Pizza on a College Budget?


This infographic elucidates the shopping habits of students at Western Washington University, employing the responses of 55 participants as a basis for analysis and understanding. // Infographic by Cameron Martinez

Is it realistic to shop sustainably as college students?

By Cameron Martinez and Joshua Solórzano

Broke college students don’t usually consider how sustainable their groceries are. For many students, the price tag is what’s most important. Despite the extra cost, how realistic is it to shop sustainably as a college student? What is the price difference, and what does sustainable even mean? Cameron Martinez and Joshua Solórzano test this by going out and shopping for ingredients to make a pizza from only local, organic and sustainable products. Then they make a pizza from the cheapest ingredients possible from Dollar Tree. Find out what they learned from their pizza making experience. They also speak with Professor Kate Darby about the meaning of sustainability and how realistic it is for college students to shop sustainably.

Cameron and Joshua embark on a mission to explore the practicality of college students preparing a meal solely with sustainable ingredients, all while also aiming to create the most affordable pizza imaginable. Subsequently, we delve into Professor Kate Darby’s insightful perspective and extensive expertise in the realm of sustainable food shopping.

A Growing Community

Embracing urban agriculture

By Ellie Coberly and Peter French

Bellingham is home to a lively growing network of gardens and farms, which all work to grow food for the community, in one way or another. This video looks at The York Neighborhood Farm, City Sprouts Farm and Common Threads. Each farm was started or is led by local agricultural experts and growers. These spaces thrive off hard work, community outreach and compassion.


Advice for gardening in the Pacific Northwest

By Andy Ford, Emma Burrell and Ava Boorn

Homegrown is a video showcasing what a little tenacity and hunger for fresh produce can yield if you have the patience to start your own garden. One gardener and a few Washington State University master gardeners explain what you can and should do to raise a successful garden yourself.

If you watched the video and would like to learn more about what you can grow, we suggest this book as an amazingly helpful, visual guide to get started:

We would like to thank Beth Chisholm, Bill Wedin, Dave Keller, Barbara King, Allison Lingbloom, David Simonson, the Master Gardeners, Al Short and everyone else we talked to and learned a wealth of information from. The video wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Soil to Spoon

A look at three different farms thriving on their sustainable practices

By Ryan Scott, Sam Kristofferson and Desiree Erdman

This film takes viewers on a journey through Whatcom and Skagit Counties, highlighting three local farms Steensma Creamery, Sauk Farms and Marie’s Bees. From the sustainable practices and commitment to community, this video showcases the remarkable stories and impactful contributions of these farms to the region’s agricultural richness.

What a Catch! Exploring the world of commercial fishing in the Pacific Northwest

By Anyssa Mahmoud and Raine Westfall

“What a Catch” is a three-part that drops a line into the ocean of Whatcom County voices who find a living in harvesting the bounties of the Salish Sea.

Part 1: Behind the Fishermen

Episode 1 dives into Lummi Commercial Fisherman Terry Phair’s livelyhood, discovering what it takes to be a successful fisherman.

What a Catch pt. 2

COMING SOON Part 2: Salmon People, Fighting the Current of Change

Episode 2 explores threats that members of the Lummi Nation have faced to sustain fishing alive. Featuring fishermen Terry Phair, Kyle Kinley & Dana Wilson, with perspective by Eleanor Kinley, Peter Klos & Shawn Everson.

Part 3: Community Between Fishermen and Consumers

Episode 3 features what fishermen from Lummi and Whatcom County believe community is and how important it is for the Lummi and Whatcom County residents to explore the fresh seafood we have in our backyards. Interviews from Lummi fishermen, fishermen from Dockside Market and buyers.