Producer Dave Haldiman, chef Barbara Wright (formerly of Madison restaurant The Dardanelles) and host Amelia Royko-Maurer have shot hundreds of hours of footage and need a push to keep the project going and to hire an editor. They are seeking $17,300 to shoot new footage, work on what they already have and cover incidentals.
"We need a fairly sophisticated website for download. Also, we'd like to compensate people when we take up their whole day," says Royko-Maurer.
Tasty Guide was born out of struggles between the Green Rock Citizens for Clean Water and large-scale animal feedlots. In Rock County, a concentrated animal lot has polluted the groundwater with nitrates. It is an all-too-familiar story: an estimated one-quarter of wells in Wisconsin are contaminated by agricultural products. The group petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the 2004 livestock facility siting law that allows farms to operate and expand by preempting local regulation. They lost when the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the law last summer.
But from defeat came the desire to spread the gospel of sustainable, ethical foods in a positive way to a broad audience.
Royko-Mauer says: "There doesn't seem to be a show like what we're doing that would feature heroes and leaders in local food communities."
Episodes already filmed, but not completed, treat subjects ranging from producing garden fresh food for kids to profiling a cattle rancher in Cannon Falls, Minn. To see clips of episodes in progress, head to the Tasty Guide Facebook page. As of this report being published, the Tasty Guide to a Healthy Planet campaign has 61 backers who have pledged $5,430. There are six days to left go. As per Kickstarter rules, if the entire goal of $17,300 isn't met, the campaign gets nothing.
"We see ourselves as filling in a gap," says an upbeat and enthusiastic Royko-Maurer. "The message of sustainable food is that people can have it, and can afford it. And we're turning on the appeal and market for those types of foods. This is not just a cooking show."