Green Festival 2013: Interview

April 9, 2013 8:03:46 AM PDT
The Green Festival Interview: Frances Moore Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet."You published Diet for a Small Planet the year after the very first Earth Day. How have things changed since then?

Overall, things have gotten better and worse, it all depends what we focus on. We live in a time where we know more about climate change than ever - we can choose to work together and use this knowledge to better our earth. I wrote EcoMind out of a desire to show people that instead of putting all of their energy into despairing at the current situation, we can refocus and rephrase those problems into possibilities.

Give us a sneak-peak of your Green Festival talk. We won't tell.

I'll be sharing my journey of how I became inspired to write EcoMind. I attended a meeting and was bombarded with negative statistics ? overall the facts presented painted a very bleak future. Those of us who are environmentalists can still get trapped in a mechanical mindset. I want to shift the way we talk about the environmental process, reframe these facts to be very empowering, and to inspire others to think like an ecosystem.

In India I was introduced to the idea of individuals working as an ecosystem. A group of about 4 to 5 thousand women had organized biological groups, meeting once a week to create a dialogue and collaborate to create solutions to community issues. Solutions are not just in a lab, solutions are coming from the genius of ordinary people collaborating. So as dire as it seems, we can't just despair ? now more than ever we need to pull together and focus on solving issues as one. In an ecological worldview, there are no parts ? only participants.

Is your organization, Small Planet, involved in any projects that you think our readers would like to know more about?

Currently we are working on taking the message of EcoMind and utilizing the core lessons to create a workshop seminar. We are working to inspire and empower individuals to work together ? the results that we've had so far have been very gratifying, and we're looking forward to developing this project further. Video clips are available at

Also, I'm proud to support my daughter's work in the creation of Food Mythbusters ? animated videos addressing the myths that we need to rely on chemical agriculture to support the growing population. With the continued attention that GMO's are receiving in the press, it's so important that the public are truly informed as to what they are consuming. They're releasing a new video shortly focusing on food marketing to children and children's health. Any practical advice for those of us wanting to live out the ideals embodied in Earth Day?

We are so much a reflection of people in our social circle, one thing to do on earth day is to look at who we want to bring into our lives to help us try new things and connect new groups ? people we admire and let them influence us ? change ourselves change the world.

How did you first come to participate in Green Festivals?

I worked with Green Festival founder Kevin Danaher in the 1980s, so in keeping in contact with him, I learned about Green Festival from the very beginning. Green Festival embodies the concept of what I talk about in EcoMind: people making so many new connections, sharing new ideas and solutions. The event has such a positive, celebratory feel ? it solidifies the fact that despite what you may feel at times, you are a part of a bigger movement and you are never alone in this.