Movie Review: The Future of Food

By Joan K. Widdifield, Psy.D
Movie Magazine International
The Future of Food, the documentary written, directed and produced by Deborah Koons Garcia uses interviews with experts and farmers, sumptuous cinematography of organic food and archival footage that chronicles how genetically engineered – or GE -- foods have crept into our food supply over the last 10 years. The film describes how GE is destroying crops that have evolved over thousands of years.

Garcia’s film describes GE food from the cellular level to the international distribution level. It’s fairly academic, but is presented clearly by experts, which make it comprehensible. The film cites a range of issues, mounting a case against GE crops, from the problems with "Round-Up Ready" canola to the controversy over patented crop genes, to the GE contamination that made its way into the cornfields of Mexico. The film describes the "terminator gene" that kills seeds after one season creating a shortage of some seeds and making farmers dependent on a corporation to buy seeds. The rapidly diminishing diversity of plant species is causing the remaining plants to be at risk.

The overarching theme is that corporations like Monsanto are devising ways to monopolize the food supply so that consumers are at their mercy. And, at the same time, the film claims, our government and the offending corporations are suppressing research about the effects of genetic engineering -- including the long-term health effects of consuming them. The film debunks pro-GE claims that GE will decrease the need for pesticides, and solve world hunger.

Deborah Koons Garcia started making films 30 years ago including an educational series, "All About Babies," and a documentary about her late husband Jerry Garcia and his musical collaboration with David Grisman, "Grateful Dawg."

The film presents the GE issue in an historical, scientific, and political context with an ultimate clarion call to action, and the warning that if we don’t do something now, it will be too late. This comprehensive, brainy, political and visually sumptuous documentary draws some chilling conclusions, and goes on my list films that every American voter – and eater – should see.

In San Francisco, this is Joan Widdifield for Movie Magazine. ©
Air date: September 28, 2005
More Information:
The Future of Food
Documentary film; 2004; Writer/director/producer: Deborah Koons Garcia