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In Organic We Trust is an eye-opening food documentary that follows Director/Producer Kip Pastor on a personal journey to answer commonly asked questions about organic food: What exactly is organic? Is it really better, or just a marketing scam?
The film digs deep with farmers, organic certifiers, scientists, and organic critics to explore the content beneath the label and the truth behind the marketing. It takes a balanced approach to clear up misconceptions about organic food while highlighting practical solutions that are transforming the way we grow and eat.
Along the way, Kip learns that what began as a grassroots movement of small-scale farmers has turned into a $30 billion industry. Small, diversified organic farms have been replaced by large corporate operations and the “certified organic” label has become a marketing tool. The film reveals that in spite of the corporatization of organic, the original grassroots philosophy is making a comeback in many innovative forms.
Realizing that organic is not the all-encompassing solution to our health and environmental problems, Kip travels all over the country to unearth inspiring stories of local family farmers dedicated to stewardship of the land, a thriving “locavore” subculture centered on farmer’s markets, chefs feeding children healthy school meals, and urban and school gardens sprouting up to bring fresh food to low-income communities.
Individual citizens and communities are taking matters into their own hands and change is happening from the ground up.
Starting a discussion about organic food and our food system can be a powerful way to get your friends and family more involved with the growing food movement. These "Facts 'n' Stats" are great conversation-starters that will get people thinking (and talking!) about the important issues:
- The U.S. organic industry grew by nearly 8% in 2010, to reach $28.6 billion in sales (Organic Trade Association, 2011 Organic Industry Survey)
- 78% of U.S. families purchase at least some organic foods (Organic Trade Association, 2011 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study)
- Less than 1% of U.S. farmland is certified organic (USDA Economic Research Service)Food & Health
- Annual health care costs associated with obesity total about $147 billion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- 2 out of 3 U.S. adults are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- 1 out of 3 U.S. children are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Farm bill spending does not reflect public health priorities: over $33 billion is spent on commodity crops, while only $4.3 billion goes to fruits, nuts and vegetables (FoodTech Connect, A Clean Bill of Health)
- 78% of poll respondents said making nutritious and healthy foods more affordable and more accessible should be a top priority in the next farm bill (David & Lucile Packard Foundation)Local Food & Healthy Food Access
- The number of farmers markets in the U.S. increased 17% between 2010 and 2011 alone, up to 7,175 (USDA, National Directory of Farmers Markets)
- Marketing of local foods grossed $4.8 billion in 2008 (USDA Economic Research Service)
- In 2010, 14.5% of households were "food insecure" at least some time during that year, meaning occupants do not always have enough food to meet basic needs (USDA Economic Research Service)
- Over 46 million Americans currently receive SNAP benefits (formerly known as "food stamps") (USDA Food and Nutrition Service)
- Less than 20% of farmers markets have EBT terminals (USDA Agricultural Marketing Service)
- SNAP transactions at farmers markets accounted for a mere 0.008% of total SNAP transactions nationwide in 2009 (Community Food Security Coalition)
- 77% of Americans want more information about the food they buy (IBM)Factory Farms & Food Industry Consolidation
- The total number of animals on factory farms grew by 5 million, or more than 20%, between 2002 and 2007 (Food & Water Watch)
- Slaughterhouses can process up to 400 cattle per hour (Fast Food Nation)
- There are 5 times as many hogs as people in Iowa, the #1 pork producing state in the U.S. (Iowa Pork Producers Association)
- More than 80% of U.S. beef cattle are slaughtered by just 4 companies (Mary Hendrickson & William Heffernan, Concentration of Agricultural Markets, 2007)
- The top 5 food retailers capture half of all grocery sales, double the share they held in 1997 (Grist.org)
Three years in the making, IN ORGANIC WE TRUST is ready to throw on a top hat and head for the red carpet. This doesn't just signify that you'll soon have the chance to see the film, but it also means that the outreach campaign is kicking off. So get ready!
"put this film on your must-see list" - Diets in Review
“excellent introduction to the confusing world of Certified Organic." - Spinning Spoons
"a relevant and revelatory documentary" - The Orange County Register
“a jaunty first-person tour” - Washington Post
“puts the power in the hands of the individual" - Daily Californian
“a lesson worth repeating" - Smells like Screen Spirit
“explores what people are actually doing to address the issue” – Indianapolis Star
“cuts through the marketing hype" – MovieWeb.com
“In Organic We Trust,” a jaunty first-person tour of this burgeoning sector of the food business. The movie explains what “organic” is and isn’t... Read more here
"The director and producer of "In Organic We Trust," Kip Pastor, tells us about this new documentary film that tries to get to the bottom of all of this organic food hype."
Pastor spent time in Washington with aspirations of a political career, but became disillusioned with the process ("too corrupt"), deciding he can crusade for social issues he believes in by making documentaries. "In Organic We Trust" calls into question corporate influence in the organic food industry, and makes a good case for buying from local farmers. Read more here...
I’m pretty skeptical when there’s a new food documentary that hits the scene. I’ve been scared in to or out of so many things because of this genre. Since Morgan Spurlock first freaked us all out with Super Size Me, or once the revolution rose up with viewings of Forks Over Knives, I’ve learned to take all these films with a grain of salt and consider the source....About 10 minutes into the film I was impressed, engaged, and intrigued. In Organic We Trust was on to something. Read more here...
"I've always been passionate about food, the environment and public policy. The film ties all of these together," [Kip Pastor] e-mailed before last Sunday's IndieFest screening (also next Thursday at the Roxie). "What is amazing about food is that it connects every socioeconomic, political and environmental issue with something we all do daily -- eat." Read more here...
The organic food movement is certainly a great cause and it has definitely become big business. Now the only question is whether we will allow this well-intentioned movement, started by farmers who strived to be stewards of the land, to completely degenerate into a meaningless food trend. Read more here...
Can a really good documentary film change the way we think and act? As the D.C. Environmental Film Festival gears up for its twentieth anniversary year, Kojo explores the evolution of advocacy films and examines what it takes for a film to change people's minds and impact their behavior. Listen here (interview begins at 32:58)
Kip Pastor's In Organic We Trust is a relevant and revelatory documentary that forays into both the make-up and marketing of the foods we eat. From "pink slime" to GMOs to the newly unveiled "meat glue," consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with what's in the food they serve their families. Read more here...
Described as "an eye-opening food documentary that looks beyond organic for practical solutions for me and you," the film depicts a curious and fervent Pastor as he tries to understand the organic food industry and America's food system. Read more here...
The American documentary dissects the term "organic," the government's involvement (via the U.S. Department of Agriculture), describes how big agri-business has muscled in on the lucrative "organic" brand and dispels a few myths, including the one that organic food is not sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Read more here...
Most people eat at least some organic food in their diet these days, but many don't know what the word "organic" means, or why it's better for us. This film helps to shed light on what organic really means, and also shows how the system of USDA organic certification is flawed by being more concerned with profit than the philosophy of organic farming. Read more here...
Another timely topic that provides perfect film fodder is the organic food industry, thoroughly explored in the documentary "In Organic We Trust." Read more here...
Best Bets - Documentary: In Organic We Trust (USA), as the Farm Bill works through Congress, takes a timely look at unsustainable food practices in the U.S. and asks if going organic is the answer. Read more here...
I've written a good bit over the last few years about how meaningless the term "organic" has become. This is especially true since large corporations like Walmart have gotten into the act. Read more here...
To Kiplin, the message of the film is of the utmost importance, particularly for college students, who he called "next generation of decision makers" in an interview with the Wheel. He believes it is essential that we understand what we are eating and how we can make a difference in revolutionizing the way we eat. Read more here...
Read more here...
Directed and produced by Kip Pastor, “In Organic We Trust,” begins by exposing the contradictions in the organic industry. What began as an effort by smaller farmers to purify the growing process has been taken over and turned into a marketing ploy by corporate giants. Read more here...
Wanda Ali Batin Sabir's interview with director/producer Kip Pastor begins at 70:54 in this podcast.
Fired up and ready to take action? That's what we like to hear! Here are FOUR ways to start making a difference:
ACTION 1: Get Informed and Educate Others
- Check out our resources and share with your friends.
- Talk to your friends and neighbors about this film and share your knowledge about organic, local, and sustainable food.
ACTION 2: Do It Yourself
- Grow your own food (the National Gardening Association has great tips) and donate what you can’t eat to a local food bank.
- Vote with your fork. Spend your food dollars at local farmer’s markets, food producers, and sustainable restaurants.
- Cook at home more often and teach your friends and family what you know about cooking.
ACTION 3: Join the Community
- Volunteer at a community garden, school garden, or your local farmer’s market.
- Get involved with your local Slow Food chapter or other sustainable food organization.
- Get to know your local farmers. Most of them are very passionate about what they do and are happy to answer your questions about their farming practices.
ACTION 4: Get Political
- Sign our petitions (COMING SOON!)
- Form a parent group to push for changes in your child’s school lunch program. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a great toolkit on their website.
- Attend a meeting of your local food policy council.
Like you, we believe that socially conscious media is a powerful tool for disseminating ideas and bringing about change in society. That's why we created IN ORGANIC WE TRUST. There is a whole library of information out there to help you arm yourself with knowledge. The following links are a great place to start:
- Center for Science in the Public Interest (www.cspinet.org)A consumer advocacy organization that conducts research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition
- Civil Eats (www.civileats.com)
A great place to get your daily dose of sustainable food news
- Community Food Security Coalition (www.foodsecurity.org)A nonprofit dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times
- Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org)
EWG's research exposes threats to your health and the environment, bringing to light the unsettling facts you have a right to know.
- Farm Aid (www.farmaid.org)
Farm Aid works to keep family farmers on their land, producing fresh, healthy food for everyone.
- Food Corps (www.foodcorps.org)Leaders delivering nutrition education, building school gardens, and connecting farms to schools
- Food Politics (www.foodpolitics.org)
Nutrition and food politics guru Marion Nestle's daily blog
- Grist (www.grist.org)
Environmental news and commentary
- Growing Power (www.growingpower.org)A nonprofit and land trust that helps people grow, process, market, and distribute food in a sustainable manner
- Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org)
Find farmer's markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
- Real Time Farms (www.realtimefarms.com)Real Time Farms helps you understand where your food comes from. Find farms, farmer's markets, and restaurants serving up sustainable food in your area.
- Roots of Change (www.rootsofchange.org)A network of leaders and institutions working to build a sustainable food system in California by 2030
- Slow Food USA (www.slowfoodusa.org)
Supporting good, clean and fair food for everyone
- Sustainable Table (www.sustainabletable.org)Educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food
We can no longer stomach our food system. It's killing more and more Americans and costing billions in healthcare. 78% of Americans eat organic food, because they think it's healthier. But is organic really better for us or just a marketing scam?
When corporations went into the business and "organic" became a brand, everything changed. The philosophy and the label grew apart. Can gummy bears or bananas flown halfway across the world truly be organic?
"In Organic We Trust" is an eye-opening food documentary that looks beyond organic for practical solutions for me and you. Local farmer's markets, school gardens, and urban farms are revolutionizing the way we eat. Change is happening from the soil up.
Kip Pastor - Director/Producer
Having traveled and explored extensively, Kip finds inspiration in places outside of his comfort zone. After graduating cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, he worked at a major law firm in Washington, DC, the Wildlife Conservation Society in Vientiane, Laos, as an international trade consultant in Mexico City, and in Maryland doing development and post-production work for a History Channel show. Kip received his Masters in Fine Arts degree from the American Film Institute, and then became the Program Manager at Meaningful Media in Los Angeles. As a storyteller, Kip is an award-winning director and producer. He has produced many nationally broadcast commercials, directed the feature documentary IN ORGANIC WE TRUST, produced and written several short films that have played on television and all over the world, and a number of music videos. He has written articles that have been published in the Miami Herald, Christian Science Monitor, and Huffington Post. Kip has appeared on ABC7 News, NPR, various radio shows, has spoken at dozens of festivals, screenings, and conferences. Committed to creating narrative and documentary films that inspire change and increase understanding, he believes that filmmaking is the most effective medium to disseminate big ideas.
Emma Fletcher - Producer
Emma graduated cum laude from Tufts University in 2003 with a BA in International Relations and a minor in Mass Media and Communications. After working as Producer’s Assistant on projects such as Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity and Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant, she left her job to join the Obama campaign, as Office Manager of the San Fernando Valley Headquarters. Emma later traveled to Thailand and Burma to shoot a short documentary about an orphanage for children saved from human trafficking. She is drawn to film because of its capacity to elicit positive change through the exploration and discussion of compelling ideas.
Todd Banhazl - Director of Photography
Todd Banhazl, a cinematographer currently based in Los Angeles and New York, received his Masters in Cinematography at the American Film Institute. His thesis film, Patrol, was a national finalist in the Student Academy Awards and was screened at Sundance Film Festival in 2010. Todd also shot All About Dad, which won the Audience Award at Cinequest 2008. He has also shot commercials and music videos for Paris Hilton, The Ting Tings, General Electric, AMC Network, Four Seasons Resorts, Toyota, and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, among others.
Jeff Bierman - Director of Photography
Jeff graduated from Drexel University in 2007. At an early age, Jeff’s desire to explore people and places drew him behind the camera. He has been studying and making films for seven years and has been honored with awards in editing, directing, and cinematography. Jeff received a Masters in Cinematography from the American Film Institute, where his thesis film screened at the 66th Venice Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. The search to understand what he sees is at the core of his approach to visual storytelling.
John-Michael Powell - Editor
John-Michael earned a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film from Texas Christian University. He spent two years as the Lead Editor for National Banana, where he cut with Jerry Zucker (Airplane!, Ghost, First Knight) on the TV series Already in Progress, as well as a series of PSAs featured on CNN called Attack at the Pump. In 2009, John-Michael cut the award-winning feature film Obselidia, which won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize and Excellence in Cinematography Prize at Sundance 2010, and was also nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards in 2011. He followed Obselidia up by cutting The Brass Teapot starring Michael Angarano and Juno Temple as well as the feature length rock & roll documentary See Kid Go.
Yoni Reiss - Editor
Yoni Reiss moved to America shortly after being born in Israel. After attending Drexel University, Yoni moved to Los Angeles to obtain his Master's degree at the American Film Institute. Yoni's films have appeared in festivals in both America and Europe. He edited the short film Life on Earth, which appeared in the 2010 San Francisco Independent Film Festival.
Eric Jasper - Composer
A Los Angeles native, Eric studied music composition at Stanford University, where he played trumpet with the symphony orchestra on tours to Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. He then attended the graduate film scoring program at USC’s Thornton School of Music. In 2010, he was selected to participate in the prestigious ASCAP TV and Film Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis. Eric has written music for documentaries, scripted films, online promotional media, TV advertising, and production music libraries. In 2009 and 2010, Eric scored and co-produced two documentaries about music in L.A. elementary schools and won LA Emmy awards for both. Eric’s diverse musical background gives him the ability to merge genres and create a unique voice for his compositions.
Annika Ihnat - Outreach Coordinator
Annika graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a BA in communications and women’s studies. After assisting in the creation of the Extra Mile America Foundation, Annika coordinated two cross-country tours and the national Extra Mile Day campaign. Since then, she has worked as a freelance production coordinator for the Gay Culture Education Project and freelance writer and communications consultant for SOSMentor, a nonprofit that provides nutrition education for kids. Passionate about food justice, cooking, and community engagement, Annika has worked and volunteered for local organizations such as Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) and Cooking Matters L.A.
Leighton Woodhouse - Outreach Consultant
Leighton is a graphic designer and communications specialist with a background in issue advocacy. He is the co-founder of Dog Park Media, a video production and print design company. He is also the Communications Director for the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Leighton’s work in the documentary film world began at Brave New Films, where he was Communications Director and then Political Director. Leighton has a Master’s degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley.
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