Media has tremendous power to inform and also to influence people and events in significant ways.  Too often, the focus is on the negative.  Yet, there are countless stories of powerful ideas and positive actions that can and are being captured in various media outlets.  These are the stories that are Food for Thought in this Dinner Theme.


YES! Magazine with Publisher Fran Korten Do you believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket or that incredible people are doing amazing things to help us all transcend the damage caused by greed and ignorance? Your answer may be determined by where you get your news.

AN AMAZING DETECTIVE STORY with Pulitzer Prize Winner Dan Fagan How a group of determined citizens and scientists found the truth and prevented more deaths.

Other video options not available on website include: Movie: Spotlight–centers on investigative reporting; Documentaries like “Seeing is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News (2002)” The impact of consumer video equipment on international political activism efforts.


Tier One: Invite a couple of friends over for a potluck and favorite beverage, watch video, read related article of your choice and use questions below or those found on each of the above video pages on this website to inspire conversations.

Tier Two: Follow suggested guide below for guests, setting, menu, etc. if desired.


Family, friends, members of local media, high school or college journalism students, folks who subscribe to magazines, members of book club.


Living room, library community room, classroom


Camcorder, IPad, PRESS badge, copy of YES! Magazine and “Tom’s River: A Story of Science & Salvation” Book


Try a favorite dish of one of the speakers like Grouper with Black Bean Sauce (Dan Fagin) or Rhubarb with Strawberry Crumble (Fran Korten).

Conversation Opener

Share your personal media preference and why you enjoy it, ie., BBC News? Blog? TV Reality Show? Book that made you think differently or laugh or surprised you? Do you have suggestions for reading or viewing that offer positive perspective or solutions for societal problems related to humanity and/or the environment?

Video: Amazing Detective Story

  • Dan believes that “The obligation of Democracy is to be fully engaged– to show up and to take time to educate oneself about the complexities of the issue and to speak out.” Please share any experiences you have had doing that.
  • Scientifically proving a link between the cause of cancer and environmental toxins is difficult due to the typically small number of cases involved in “cluster cancers”.  However, dedicated scientists with a strong moral sense stayed on the case working outside their job hours and ultimately proved some specific cancers were linked to the toxic water, i.e., leukemia in girls if their mothers drank the toxic water while pregnant. Please share your reaction. Do you know of any other scientific “heroes” like those in Toms River?
  • What is your opinion of the final outcome of the legal case against the corporation?
  • Dan points out in the interview that “capitalism’s short term gain decreases long term sustainability”. Please elaborate on your thoughts about that statement.

Video: YES! Magazine

  • What sources do you rely on for your news and information and how do they affect your view of the world and current events?
  •   What do you think our world will look like 50 years from today?
  • The fundamental idea of YES! is to lift up the stories of people who are doing those positive changes. Share your knowledge of YES! stories and also people who are doing that.
  • Most mass media outlets only look at the national level and cover controversial or negative stories.  Where do you find local stories especially those that focus on positive happenings?  How might you share and support those stories.
  • A blatant promotion: Subscribe to YES! Magazine and share those stories with friends….perhaps, over

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About Us

Operation Bon Appetit is an initiative of the Cultural Innovations Agency, Inc. (CIA), a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, with the mission to engage ordinary people in sustainability and social change that emphasizes conviviality, arts, conversations and actions. The ethical framework for the CIA recognizes the interconnection of economic justice, human rights, respect for nature and a culture of peace.

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