FOOD FIGHT: Christine Zenyi Lu (bio)

by czenyilu22

DIY Fennel Crisps: Take a fennel bulb, shave it into thin slices (use a mandolin if you have one), drizzle it in olive oil and roast at 350 degrees. When the edges begin to turn brown and crisp, take it out and while it’s still hot drizzle with lemon, Parmesan, sea salt, and pepper.

Your house will smell like heaven and everyone will think you’re a genius.

As an undergrad, I studied English and film and moved to New York immediately after graduation. I’ve worked in documentary, the non-profit sector, and corporate television, as well as made elaborate prohibition-age cocktails behind the bar. Throughout it all, I was driven by my insatiable desire for fresh, quality ingredients and storytelling.

Smorgasburg is a perfect example of the food craze in Brooklyn. From rooftop farms, to urban beekeeping, pickling, kombucha/beer brewing, cheese/soap making, window farms, community gardens, seed bombing, foraging in Central Park, to vertical gardens – the list is virtually endless. If you can eat it, someone is making it. I love this. I want to document this with a new media project profiling people with good ideas who are changing the food industry.

Here is a Ted Talk by Britta Riley about a DIY initiative involving hydroponic gardens that she modeled after NASA.

By using a social media site, Britta is able to create an international community of over $18,000 people where testing each others ideas to create progress is more important than being the “idea guy”. She asks us to visit her website to rediscover “the power of citizens united and to declare that we are all still pioneers.” High-five!

The topic for TedxManhattan January 2012 is “Changing the Way We Eat” and I highly recommend checking out the videos from the 2011 talks (especially Brian Halweil “From New York to Africa: Why Food is Changing the World” & Cheryl Rogowski “Being a Family Farmer”). []

As inspired as I am by Britta Riley, I have to wonder if window farming is really going to change the problems of the food and agricultural industry. Can these DIY practices change policy? Is that there purpose? Is it enough that they are leading us towards more sustainable ways of eating and farming? What about the punk urban beekeepers neglecting their bees and was that tiny jar of honey really $15? Can there really be change in small steps, block by block?

At Maker Faire, I made seed bombs out of clay, dirt, and seeds to toss into vacant lots with Ioby (, which is like a Kickstarter for environmental projects. We decided that the answer to all the above questions is yes. Change is possible and happening all around us and the importance of keeping it local, positive, hopeful and visible.

How come the Arduino tent was 3x bigger than the sustainability tent? Did anyone try that enormous Paella?

Please send your food talk, food links, farmers, foragers and snacks my way!

DIY Paella Lovers Unite!

“Food is not the problem. Food is the solution.”~ Brian Halweil

One Comment to “FOOD FIGHT: Christine Zenyi Lu (bio)”

  1. I don’t think I even saw the sustainability tent. Deb and I tried the paella. It was really good!

    You should do a food workshop for us in class 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: