Ripe for Change
Produced by Beyond the Dream LLC
Broadcast on PBS
Review by Tim Boyd
Local food is promoted heavily in this video. Early on we see a striking image of farmers in what looks like space suits spraying their fields. What’s wrong with that picture? The problems with chemicals are explained in some detail. The featured chemical is the herbicide Atrazine, which scrambles sexual characteristics in frogs and fish. Swiss company Syngenta makes the stuff but it has never been legal in Switzerland and is banned all over Europe. The points made in the film are good as far as they go but something is missing.
“Ripe for Change” talks about sustainability. Sustainability is good but except for a shot or two of chickens and a few dogs, I see no animals in this DVD. Where are the beeves? Farmers I have talked to point out that crops take a lot out of the soil and it isn’t easy to put the nutrients back. It’s impossible with conventional fertilizer. The best fertilizer comes from a cow. Better yet, lots of cows. Even the valid points in this film are not exactly dramatically new revelations for anyone slightly informed on the subject. And no cows. Thumbs down.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2009.