Will Allen, 6ft 7" former professional basketball player, is now one of the most influential leaders of the food security & urban farming movement. His farm and not-for-profit, Growing Power, have trained and inspired people in every corner of the US to start growing food sustainably. This man and his organization go beyond growing food. They provide a platform for people to share knowledge and form relationships in order to develop alternatives to the industrial food system.
"FRESH is just that--an upbeat and wonderfully fresh look at our food system and how to make it work better for the health of humans and the planet. It's a must see for everyone who eats."
-Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor,
Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University
We all know about the problems with the American food system, but what about the solutions? FRESH is a bracing, even exhilarating look at the whole range of efforts underway to renovate the way we grow food and feed ourselves.
-Michael Pollan, Author, In Defense of Food
"Absolutely first-rate...The film is not a preach-fest; it's an informative, inspirational, swiftly-edited and beautifully scored movie. What the doc does best is demonstrate that nature's own ways of doing things - nature's food chain, nature's circle of life - is, ultimately, the best treatment of land and livestock."
-Moving Pictures Magazine
"FRESH, The Movie, in contrast to Food Inc. presents a vision of the possible by profiling heroes all over the country who are changing the way we eat. FRESH'S strength is that it shows how organic, ecological farming methods can be viable."
"It is becoming increasingly clear that for all its past benefits, the industrial food system no longer serves the best interests of people or the planet. FRESH begins to suggest what at least part of our future food system might look like...."
-Frederick Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
-Joan Gussow, Author, and Professor Emeritus (Nutrition), Columbia University Teachers College
Our current industrial method of food production is increasingly viewed as an unsustainable system, destructive to the environment and public health. But what is the alternative?
Fresh profiles the farmers, thinkers, and business people across the nation who are at the forefront of re-inventing food production in America. With a strong commitment to sustainability, they are changing how farms are run, how the land is cared for, and how food is distributed. Their success demonstrates that a new paradigm based on sustainable practices can be profitable and a model for our food system, if people choose to support it.
Fresh opens with a short summary of the problems and consequences of industrialized food production, then focuses primarily on the individuals who are creating new approaches to address environmental, health, and economic challenges throughout the food chain.
Joel Salatin is a world-famous sustainable farmer and entrepreneur who, by observing nature, devised a rotational grazing system for his animals that heals the land while making his operations many times more profitable than his conventional farming neighbors.
Will Allen, a former pro basketball player and recipient of a Macarthur Genius Award, is now one of the most influential leaders of the urban farming movement. He teaches people in the inner city the value of healthy food and how to grow their own.
David Ball saw his family-run supermarket and a once-thriving local farming community dying with the rise of Walmart and other big chains. So he reinvented his business, partnering with area farmers to sell locally-grown food at an affordable price. His plan has brought the local economy back to life.
Fresh also features a farmer in Iowa who illustrates the struggles family farmers face, a hog farmer in Missouri who stopped using antibiotics on his pigs, and commentary by noted food expert and author Michael Pollan.
Running Time: 70 minutes
A film by Ana Sofia Joanes
2008 MacArthur Fellow: Will Allen