A topic that not many would consider for an engaging documentary, Evolution of Organic delves deep into the organic food industry and the lives of those who were (and still are) at its forefront, creating an informative understanding about the importance of organic produce.
The modern organic agriculture industry first blossomed in California after World War 2 and then built momentum within the 60’s hippy communal farms based on self-taught alternative agriculture. The industry has had its ups and downs; from fine restaurants in California promoting the use of organic produce (‘only the best for the best’) to the threat of bankruptcy at the hands of big, conventional growers and shippers as they moved into the organic market. One particular high was setting the legal standards for ‘organic produce’ across the entire United States which included removing the previously accepted use of sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering in organic food production.
Evolution of Organic also (of course) includes hunger-inducing shots of the freshest and plumpest-looking produce we may ever see. Giant, round red tomatoes share crates with huge carrots still covered in chemical free soil and large, plump peaches, just waiting to be turned into delicious meals.
This documentary presents numerous interviews with the many faces of those who played major parts within the Californian organic movement, intertwined with historic footage and images dating back to when it all first began. The various characters whose narration fills the documentary play a large part in its success due to their passionate and down-to-earth personas; a refreshing break from the crazy, bizarre personalities or somewhat scripted characters that fill many of our modern documentaries.
This is a slower-paced documentary, but considering its gently nurturing subject matter, it appears well suited and is combined effectively with an occasional low-key acoustic guitar. Nothing is rushed, just like these farmers’ practices of growing natural and organic food.
Evolution of Organic is a gently moving documentary, but one which is filled to the brim with interesting information, characters and history, and even the hope for a climate-change free planet.
Check out the film’s official site here.