Cowspiracy? GMO OMG? Beware of misleading food ‘documentaries,’ ex-organic farmer warns

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OMG GMO documentary cover (Credit: Grist)

Not long ago, I spoke to a teacher who had recently shown Food, Inc. to her class, and she asked me my opinion of Cowspiracy. I told her it was equivalent to what I shovel out of the cattle pens …. [E]ven though most [documentaries] will be somewhat biased …. these food and ag docs are most often marketed as the definitive answer on a particular subject matter (such as biotechnutrition, or soil).

[Editor’s note: Jonathan Lawler operates Brandywine Creek Farms in Indiana and is an advocate for hunger relief and agriculture.]

Consider a National Geographic documentary on crocodiles, for example. You don’t walk away saying, “Those crocodiles are evil and greedy; why do they kill so many buffalo and why do they trick them by pretending to be logs?” Of course you don’t, because the documentary director is just … well … documenting.

Related article:  Despite GMO Bt insect-resistant cotton approval, Ethiopia still skittish about widespread biotech crop cultivation


Why state the obvious? Because these food/farm docs are doing the opposite. They take the common world view of farmers feeding the masses and then scream, “Guess What! Not only are farmers not feeding you, they are actually poisoning you!”

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At some point, I was approached by a documentary filmmaker and asked if I would be interested in appearing in her film. She was nice enough, just misguided. I thought the exposure would be good for our farm …. I think the last straw for me was being asked if I grew “chemical free.” How could I answer that? I used toxic chemicals in organic farming ….

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