“Greening the Revolution” begins with a very compelling quote, “Why are some people eating and some are not in a world of plenty?”
From mud cakes used to fight off the gnawing effects of hunger in Haiti, people working themselves to death farming in Mexico, to a spokesperson for Monsanto talking about how exciting it is to be in agriculture in this period of our history, the film adeptly focuses on the myriad of issues involving food in the present day global economy.
While a representative of the World Bank speaks of how she knows of no one who feels that globalization is anything but positive, we’re faced with scenes of impoverished farmers, women forced into prostitution in order to feed their children, and sky rocketing food prices.
At the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where the slaughter of the buffalo led to a dependency on processed food allocated by the government, half of the population over 40 has diabetes.
“Globalization fosters food insecurity on many levels, not just starvation,” said a tribal representative.
People all over the globe are experiencing that food insecurity. An Iowa farmer’s business folded after his pigs – that were fed GMO corn – had reproductive issues. 80 percent of his sow herd was unable to get pregnant. Farmers in India are committing suicide in record numbers – 250,000 have died so far – because of the debt incurred by growing GMO crops and the vicious cycle of dependency that stems from that use. Farmers drink the pesticide or herbicide that caused their debt.
“The ‘Green Revolution’ is directly responsible for my son’s death,” said a grieving father.
The film also explores the issue of speculation in commodity markets and how that caused the food crisis of 2008 where corporations saw record profits while people starved.
History has shown that this type of treatment cannot continue. The people will rise up and fight for their food rights, and therein lies the hope for the future. Not only are we living in a global economy, we’re also living in a global culture, one that can rise up together. There is now a worldwide movement for farmers to unite and take back their land. Corporations like Monsanto, as well as the WTO and NAFTA, may not be the highest powers forever, but it will be a global grassroots effort that’s needed to change that.
“Greening the Revolution” plays in BriarPatch Co-op’s Community Room on Friday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.