For more than 30 years I have focused my career on bringing important social issues to people around the world through my photography.
My images have appeared in publications worldwide including TIME Magazine, National Geographic, and the New York Times. I have photographed natural disasters in Africa and South America as well as civil strife in South Korea and Chile. I have covered wars in Chechnya and the former Soviet Republic of Abkhazia. And I have witnessed genocide firsthand in Rwanda.
In 2008 I returned to the United States and found myself immersed in a severe and prolonged recession that decimated the global economy.
Yet there was a larger tragedy taking place across the country.
For decades, extensive clever marketing disguised unlabeled processed foods containing poisonous pesticides, untested genetically modified (GMO)* corn and soy products and vast amounts of sugar.
That sugar is one of the primary contributors to the fact that today 1 in every 5 American deaths can be associated with obesity.
Poisonous systemic pesticides can be found in many GMO food products that are as much as 70% of the food on our supermarket shelves.
But this is just the beginning.
80% of the antibiotics in the United States today are fed to our factory farm animals to make them grow faster and survive the crowded and unsanitary conditions they live in.
Taken in small doses over time these drugs can build up immunity in humans that makes it difficult for us to fight bacterial infections that are now killing between 17 and 18 thousand Americans a year.**
This is most likely related to the use of low-dose antibiotics in the animals that we eat.
All of this is because the Food Industry in American is a $1.2 trillion*** a year business and the food companies and biotech firms, like Wall Street, are controlling and influencing government policies.
But what I am going to focus on in this film, Organic Rising, is the solution not the problem. There are plenty of films, books and articles that can give you that information.
Organic Rising lets Miles McEvoy of the USDA explain what are the organic standards and how farmers must uphold them.
Those standards explicitly state that organic farmers cannot use poisonous pesticides and GMO products nor can they use antibiotics in any farm animals for food production.
But better yet we let the organic farmers from across this country tell you of their convictions to conserve the environment and establish a healthy food system for all Americans.
We will also discuss the issues facing organics as the non-GMO food and beverage market moves to a possible 30% by 2017.
Will Wall Street, the corporate food industry and biotech firms buy into organics and take it over?
We intend to answer these questions through voices that will inspire you and move you to act.
Join the community for a better food system. Our goal is to raise the $50,000 needed to complete the production of this film.
Yet the more we are able to raise here the more powerful of a story we can tell you.
Thank you and thank you for your support,
*Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are genetically engineered (GE) organisms.
**"Foodopoly" by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch
***United States Department of Agriculture-Economic Research Service- Historical Food sales for 2013 of at home and away from home total $1.4 trillion.