This Friday, April 22, is Earth Day. After you wipe the tree-planting dirt off your hands, you can relax with an eco-conscious dinner and movie that will give you a buzz in more ways than one.
Three local, earth-loving organizations join forces to present the Miami debut of The Vanishing of the Bees, a film that documents the phenomenon of honeybee-colony collapse and two beekeepers' struggle to protect their beloved bugs. Dinner, desserts, and drinks based on honeybee-dependent ingredients will complement the event.
Roni Hidalgo, creative director of event co-coordinator Earthgirlz.org, says she hopes the evening of film and food will bring attention to a little-known problem and its potential repercussions. "Colony collapse is a huge deal. If we lose bees, we lose food," she says. "I want people to experience just how vital honeybees are, not only to gastronomy but to the survival of the human species. They should leave this event more aware of their personal food choices and public policy."
The film's website describes colony collapse thusly:
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
The documentary -- directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen and narrated by Oscar nominee Ellen Page -- films across four continents and covers many possible causes for the disturbing disappearance of honeybees.
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The honeybee-inspired menu set to accompany the event is the creation of chef Jonathan Gambino, who specializes in vegan and farm-to-table cuisine and has worked in restaurants in Napa Valley, New York, and South Florida. An organic winetasting will take place before the film, and reps from event sponsor Veev, an açaí-infused liquor, will mix mojitos and other cocktails. All the featured foods and spirits are in some way dependent on honeybee pollination.
The film and food event begins at 7 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22, at the Sacred Space, 105 NE 24th St., Miami. Tickets cost $65, a portion of which will go to the Save the Honeybee Foundation. Call 305-608-9101 or go to ConsciousBiteOut.com for more info.