Directed and Edited by
This short 58min documentary covers a range of topics from post-WWII agriculture, GE crops and genetic drift, the biotech industry’s relationship with the US government, the effects of pesticides on ecology, and organic farming. You can watch the film on Netflix instant, or for free here. It’s extremely informative and makes great use of public information films from the 1940s and 50s.
The film presents numerous facts and statistics through eloquent interviews with researchers, activists and farmers. Jason McKenny, from Purisima Greens Farms, argues against large scale industrialized farming by pointing to a 1998 USDA study on farming efficiency. The average revenue per acre per year for farms over 2000 acres equaled $21.40. Farms less than 10 acres averaged $1960.00, a huge disparity. So if large scale farming is so inefficient, why isn’t every US citizen eating from local, small farms?
McKenny goes on to contend that large scale farms can only exist with monocrops, ie. a single species of crop planted over a large area. Large farms couldn’t support crop variety as this would render machines useless, causing efficiency to plummet further. Monocropping might seem like a great means to large yield farms, but it tends to come with a host of other problems, including the risk of large scale crop failure, famines, soil depletion, pollution, deforestation, which all have devastating effects on communities, economy and the environment.
The film covers Genetic Engineering in great detail. For instance, I never knew that “Monsanto was one of the first exhibitors at Disneyland in 1950′s” and that in “1999, Monsanto unveiled its ‘Beautiful Science’ exhibit at Epcot.” Back in 2000, according to the Washington Post, “the biotech industry spen[t] $50 million/year convincing consumers that biotech crops [were] safe.”
World hunger is created by destroying people’s capacity to feed themselves, which includes both a destruction of small farming systems as well as a destruction of people’s entitlements…ecological cycles will feed the world, not genetic engineering. – Vandana Shiva, Research Center for Science Technology and Ecology
Malnourished children…what they really need is a vaccine against the social disease called poverty. - Anuradha Mittal, Food First, Institute for Food and Development Policy
We need to be working with CSAs to ensure that their programs are available in…low income areas. - Anuradha Mittal – Food First – Institute for Food and Development Policy
Pictured to the right: Anuradha Mittal