Do we want what we grow and what we eat to be determined by a few giant corporations whose first and foremost agenda is profit before people and planetary well-being?
Imagine a world where small farmers are respected as experts in the processes of nature and are honored as stewards of our arable land.
What about a world where farmers are no longer replaced by massive machines force-feeding toxic chemicals into vast monocultures of GMO seeds?
The film is important because Vandana Shiva articulately and scientifically presents the alternative: Ecological agriculture that restores biodiversity, organic seed freedom, healthy soil, fresh water and clean air.
How did the willful daughter of a Himalayan forest conservator become the world’s most powerful opponent of Monsanto? The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, a feature-length documentary, presents the remarkable life story of the Gandhian eco-activist and agro-ecologist, Vandana Shiva. A classic David versus Goliath tale, the film shows how Vandana, a brilliant scientist, became Monsanto’s worst nightmare and a rock star of the international sustainable food movement.
Every day in America, as we consume whatever food we can access and afford, the system that supplies our sustenance is engaged in its own form of consumption. It feasts on human toil, commodifed animals, natural resources, and our own bodies. Food, one of the foundations of life, has become a hub of suffering and struggle.
Surveying the landscape of food, we find a long menu of problems, from farm closures to climate change. Corporate-patented genetically modified organisms (GMOs) threaten farmers, food democracy, and biodiversity. Honeybees, life-giving pollinators central to our food supply, are in mass decline from pesticides and other factors. In the United States and worldwide, hunger and malnutrition remain rampant—affecting nearly one billion people globally, and at least forty-five million Americans—even as United Nations data show we have more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet.
He has a long-running public television show (Mexico: One Plate at a Time), won the Bravo network’s Top Chef Masters competition in 2009, and has written several cookbooks, including More Mexican Everyday, which was just released on April 27.Famed for popularizing regional Mexican cuisine in the city at his Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants, Bayless won his first James Beard award — Best Chef Midwest — at the organization’s inaugural ceremony in 1991, and his most recent this year for Best Podcast (The Feed, which he co-hosts with Chicago food critic Steve Dolinsky). In between, he received James Beard medallions as National Chef of the Year in 1995 and Humanitarian of the Year in 1998, and Frontera Grill received the organization’s Outstanding Restaurant award in 2007.
Yet it is Bayless’ role as a pioneer in helping establish a market for local, sustainably produced — and delicious — food in the Chicago region that, to advocates of the Good Food movement, is one of his greatest lifetime achievements.