Patagonia’s Unbroken Ground – Changing the way you think of food
Today, Patagonia Provisions released Unbroken Ground – a 25-minute film that explores the critical role food plays in finding solutions to the environmental crisis.
According to the company, the vast majority of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. Patagonia Provisions believes that food can and should be grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore the land, water, wildlife and human health.
Directed by Chris Malloy of Farm League, Unbroken Ground tells the story of four pioneering groups – and the people behind them – leading the way with regenerative agriculture, restorative grazing, new crop development and selective-harvest fishing.
A nationwide film tour started on June 22, 2016 in New York City, leading up to the film’s public release on August 1, 2016. This is the first food-focused film Patagonia has produced and the piece is chock-full of compelling dialogue around our broken food system. Drawing direct lines to the role food plays in reversing climate change, one can easily see why a company like Patagonia is now turning its’ gaze to the food industry.
We spoke to Birgit Cameron, director of Patagonia Provisions to learn more.
What are five ways we can be better consumers?
- Vote with your fork – your food choices matter.
- Educate – ask why we do things the way we do.
- Choose food that is organically grown with regenerative practices where possible.
- Support the farmers.
- Demand – ‘just label’ GMO’s. Here is a great group to support.
What are five ways the food industry can change?
- On GMO’s – Just Label it! Demand transparency!
- Organics can feed the world. Organics have higher yields in the long run and restore soil health – healthy soil uses less water.
- Incentives and subsidies for the organic farmers – raise the farmer and help make organics affordable.
- Given climate change, grow regionally appropriate crops.
- Breed for flavor and nutrition.
How long has Patagonia been selling food?
Almost three years ago we started selling our wild sockeye salmon as our first product. Today we have around 25 different offerings available on our website with more to come!
Do you see this as a growing market?
We believe the consumer landscape is changing as people want and demand not just organic food but also food that supports local communities and is grown in regionally-appropriate ways. I think we are all realizing the big industrial monoculture approach to farming is hurting our planet and is not sustainable over long periods of time.
Is America embarrassingly far behind from Europe when it comes to farming?
Well, Europe’s been around a lot longer than the U.S., so maybe they have just been at it a lot longer! We developed efficient ways to produce a lot of cheap food to feed a lot of people, particularly after World War II, but cheap food isn’t necessarily good healthy food and I think that’s what’s changing now. Along with this change comes better, smarter approaches to agriculture that consider both the health of people and health of the planet.