Dear lovers of life’s diversity and lovers of freedom,
It is time to organise and concentrate our energies to liberate our seeds and our food from the toxic, greedy and lethal clutches of global corporations like Monsanto; from the laws the corporations are writing, stealing our democracies in order to steal our seeds and food, our health and livelihoods, our cultures and our lives. We need to break from the sense of powerlessness the corporations would like us to experience to make us believe they are all powerful and we have no power to change. But we do. We just have to combine our collective energies. We must become the change we want to see. -Dr. Vandana Shiva
Austin’s Whirlaway Farm & Garden has a dream of rehabilitation, reclamation and restoration . Let’s help them realize it!
A century ago in the United States, almost everyone knew how to grow, build, and make things. Produce was local, and there was an astonishing variety of it available. Gardeners and farmers alike saved seed and shared it with friends and neighbors. Food tasted different, because it was different. Things have changed. The art of growing, building, and making things by hand is being lost..
A version of this program originally aired October 4, 2013.
In this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers profiles one of America’s most influential writers, a passionate advocate for the earth, whose prolific career includes more than forty books of poetry, novels, short stories and essays.
Wendell Berry, whom environmental activist Bill McKibben calls “a prophet of responsibility,” lives and works on the Kentucky farm where his family has lived for 200 years. In addition to being a man of letters, Berry is also one of action. In 2011, he joined a four-day sit-in at the Kentucky governor’s office to protest the mountaintop removal of coal.
“He is one of — if not — the great writer at work in American letters right now. He understood what was happening on this planet a long time before everybody else,” says McKibben.
“The world and our life in it are conditional gifts. We have the world to live in and the use of it on the condition that we will take good care of it,” Berry tells Bill. “And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.”
Wendell Berry: Poet & Prophet is a collaboration between Mannes Productions, Inc. and Schumann Media Center, Inc., headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism and media programs to advance the understanding of the critical issues of democracy for the benefit of the public.
The effects of eating genetically engineered (GE) foods are still largely unknown. The studies that led to the market release of certain genetically modified seeds were conducted by the same companies that manufacture the seeds themselves, and the raw data for these tests have not been released for the public to see. There have been independent, peer-reviewed studies that suggest that there could be harmful effects to human health caused by the use of GMOs and the chemical pesticides and herbicides that go along with them, but again, there has not been enough research done and the jury is still out. Also, without labeling GE foods, we cannot associate any health problems with people who ate them — because we do not know who ate them. Since the FDA has no way to track adverse health effects in people consuming GE foods, and because there is no requirement that food containing GE ingredients be labeled, there is no effective way to gather data on health problems that may be happening.
A tip-of-the-toque to Austin’s Chef Alain Braux
Films and short videos are a powerful way of increasing awareness of and interest in the food system. With equal parts technology and artistry, filmmakers can bring an audience to a vegetable garden in Uganda, a fast food workers’ rights protest in New York City, or an urban farm in Singapore. And animation can help paint a picture of what a sustainable, just, and fair food system might look like. Film is an incredible tool for effecting change through transforming behaviors and ways of thinking.
There are many incredible films educating audiences about changes being made – or that need to be made – in the food system.
Anna Lappé and Food Mythbusters, for example, just released a new animated short film on how “Big Food” marketing targets children and teenagers, filling their diets with unhealthy processed food products – and what parents, teachers, and communities can do to combat it.
In addition to Lappé’s timely and compelling call to action, Food Tank has selected 26 films – both long and short – to share with you. From the importance of land rights for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to the insidious dominance of fast food in an urban community in California, each of these films can inform and inspire eaters all over the world. We ask that you, in turn, share this list with your networks in order that they may reach an even wider audience.
This week on Moyers & Company in a rare television interview, Bill Moyers talks to visionary author and farmer Wendell Berry to discuss a sensible, but no-compromise plan to save the Earth.
Calling for immediate action to end industrial farming and return to the sustainable farming methods of years past, Berry says: “People who own the world outright for profit will have to be stopped; by influence, by power, by us.”
Corporate Accountability International is partnering with Anna Lappé, the Food MythBusters and a coalition of leading food & farming groups to launch a short film about Big Food marketing junk to kids TONIGHT at 8 pm EST on foodmyths.org
The film exposes the fast-food industry’s aggressive marketing to children (driving an epidemic of diabetes & obesity) and shows how parents, communities, and teachers can stand up for a better food system and for real food.
The film will be followed by a live on-line conversation.
Corporate Accountability International
10 Milk Street, Suite 610
Boston, MA 02108