Why you should help get film GMO OMG into theaters

Why you should help get film 'GMO OMG' into theaters

Why you should help get film "GMO OMG" into theatersLast night I had the great pleasure of previewing the new documentary GMO OMG by filmmaker Jeremy Seifert. No stranger to examining the food system (Seifert also directed Dive!, a movie that followed freegans, a.k.a. dumpster divers, concerned about food waste), those who attended Expo West 2012 in Anaheim may remember the filmmaker discussing plans to create the GMO movie, with support from Ohio representative Dennis Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth Kucinich.

Seifert and producer Joshua Kunau secured funding, and created perhaps the most beautiful food movie Ive ever seen.

GMO OMG is a film that the natural foods industry desperately needs. Whereas other GMO-focused documentaries are overtly scientific and technical, such as Jeffery Smiths Genetic Roulette, GMO OMG is inspirational and designed for people who dont religiously shop at natural retailers. This is illuminated at the beginning of the film, when Seifert asks pedestrians if theyve ever eaten a GMO. Most people dont know what they are, and are surprised, even appalled to learn that theyre omnipresent in nearly all processed food.

Emotional connection

But whats so interesting about the film is Seiferts journey to teach his (adorable) children about GMOsa seemingly tough concept to grasp for adults, let alone 6-year-olds. He takes his kids into grocery stores, through drive-thru windows and on a road trip across the United States, teaching them what makes GMOs different from other seeds. Its remarkable to see young children trying to comprehend the GMO issue.

Seifert films through the lens of a concerned parent, which, I think, will make it so much more salient to viewers. It humanizes the non-GMO movement because it stokes our innate parental protectiveness.

Its also notable that Seifert interviews both organic farmers and farmers who use GMOs. He allows them equal screen time to foster an honest discussion about the morals and implications of using genetically engineered seeds. We see GMO farmers filling the reservoir of their tractors with Roundup and atrazinean image most Americans (this one included) have never seen if they grew up in urban or suburban settings.

One farmer points out a giant glyphosate-resistant ragweed on the edge of his farm, and relates that his whole field would be covered in the stuff if he didnt use Roundup. Can you eat that?jokes Seifert.

The most moving part of the movie was when Seifert allowed his children to Trick-or-Treat during Halloween. Afterwards, he films his kids pooling their Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and Skittles in big piles. They look exuberant as they sort and trade their candya memory many of us share.

The largest problem, Seifert explains, is that opting out of GMOs is opting out of American culture. GMOs are everywhere, and if parents want to avoid them they run the risk of depriving their kids childhood joys. Who doesnt want to buy their kids a treat from the ice cream truck on a hot day? he asks.

The film is symbolic, moving, atmospherically gorgeous and a call to action. And its in the interest of the natural products industry to help it get into theaters. This, my friends, is the next iteration of Supersize Me.

Go to Nature's Path Facebook page or the film's website to donate.

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