How to Save the World (One Man, One Cow, One Planet)
Cloud South Films, Ltd.
Narrated by Peter Coyote
Review by Tim Boyd
There are no pyrotechnics or car chase scenes in this movie. In spite of this lack it still has some redeeming value. Biodynamic farming expert Peter Proctor is on a mission to convert Indian farms to organic or biodynamic farming methods. Many farmers there are receptive, especially after their experience with Monsanto. Financial ruin was not the worst of it. About 150,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1993. This is blamed mainly on crop failure when using, or trying to use Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds. They are ready to try something else now.
This DVD gives you a lot of different views of India. One thing all these views have in common, both in cities and out in the countryside, is bovine presence. Cows are everywhere. What a great country! Contrary to what some would have us believe about harming the environment, they understand that what comes out of the back of the cow (not milk) is critical to restoring damaged and depleted soil.
What struck me most was the interview with a government agriculture officer. He was “happy and astonished as they [farmers] could solve their own problems.” They were “working like scientists.” Interesting how city slickers all over the world find it surprising that small farmers are actually quite an intelligent bunch. The main difference between India and the U.S. is that as soon as U.S. officials see farmers solving their own problems, they start considering legislation to put an end to it. Gandhi believed in food sovereignty – the right of all people to define their own food and agriculture free of international market forces.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2009.