The future of food is in peril, warns the documentary film Seeds of Time. Gorgeously shot, the film follows the global odyssey of agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler to help ensure food security for the world’s population. Here, we dig a bit deeper with Fowler about what makes for a sustainable food system.
Movie on a Mission
“When you learn that an average American discards 4.5 pounds per day of trash, you realize we are the problem because we are not aware of where our trash is going and what it does to the environment and ultimately to our health,” says Philippe Carillo, co-director and co-producer—with his wife, Maxine—of the documentary Inside the Garbage of the World. The film aims to correct this lack of awareness by showing the scourge of plastic pollution. Here, Philippe passionately responds to questions the film prompts.
T. Colin Campbell’s groundbreaking 2004 book The China Study has inspired another film, this one closer to home. Campbell’s son, Nelson, is executive producer and director of PlantPure Nation, a film that documents the younger Campbell’s demonstrating the health benefits of a plant-based whole-foods diet in his hometown of Mebane, North Carolina. Here's our chat with Campbell.
The result of a three-year odyssey in what director/cinematographer Costa Boutsikaris calls his “veggie-oil-solar-powered-filmmaking-mobile-unit” (a converted VW van), this film documents ecological design systems in action across the U.S. Northeast and Midwest. Here's our chat with Boutsikaris.
About 90 percent of the varieties of fruits and vegetables grown 100 years ago no longer exist. "Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds" explores efforts worldwide to promote crop diversity and help secure our food supply. Here's our Q&A with the film's producer/director, Sean Kaminsky, about the longstanding practice of seed saving.
When you think piracy, Greenpeace doesn’t immediately come to mind. Yet that was the charge leveled against 30 of the non-profit’s activists in 2013 by the Russian government—after Russian special forces seized the team from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise during its protest of the first-ever oil drilling operation in Arctic waters.
“Wildlife isn’t agriculture,” says Brooks Fahy, executive director of the non-profit Predator Defense. Sounds obvious, and yet the Federal government agency known as Wildlife Services falls under the authority of the USDA. Here's our Q&A with Fahy about a new doc he co-directed and co-produced, which exposes the scandal that is Wildlife Services’ predator control program.
Our Q&A with journalist Angela Sun, who set out to investigate Midway Island in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive trash heap in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. As seen in Plastic Paradise, the film documenting her odyssey, plastic stuff makes up most of the debris. And as this non-biodegradable stuff breaks down, it leaches out pollutants—only one of the ways it threatens sea life.
Our Q&A with Lesley Chilcott, producer and director of the documentary film A Small Section of the World, about the Asociacion de Mujeres Organizadas de Biolley (ASOMOBI), a group of women coffee suppliers in Costa Rica.
An inconvenient truth for environmental organizations, according to the documentary film Cowspiracy, is animal agriculture's role in despoiling the planet. “It is their job to know these things and inform us,” says filmmaker Kip Anderson about the silence from “green” groups, such the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, in the face of all the evidence that our diet has a huge impact on the ecosystem. In addition to co-directing the film, Anderson serves as our onscreen guide investigating animal agriculture's incompatibility with sustainable living. Here, Anderson and co-director Keegan Kuhn answer questions about the issue that so many donation-dependent nonprofits are avoiding.
I like to buy products with homegrown raw materials when I can, and it’s nice when U.S. authorities help not hinder that from happening. I’m thinking hemp oil, hemp milk, hemp apparel, and (if I ever build my dream house) Hempcrete. Hemp raw materials have to be imported, because a special DEA permit is required to grow the crop. Why? The DEA classifies industrial hemp with marijuana as a Substance I narcotic, though hemp contains at most 0.3 percent of the active ingredient THC—the chemical in pot that gets a person high—a trace amount that won’t even cause you to fail a drug test, points out Linda Booker, producer, director, and editor of the documentary Bringing It Home: Industrial Hemp, Healthy Houses, and a Greener Future for America. Here, Booker answers questions about hemp’s benefits and the movement to allow U.S. farmers to grow it.