It’s 2016. Climate change is something that we can no longer ignore: it’s happening, and it's been scientifically proven. More and more, American consumers are coming to realize that their buying choices have very real repercussions for the environment.
Modern food systems—following the faster/bigger/cheaper model—have enabled massive population growth, but not without consequences. Shockingly decreased biodiversity, depletion of wild fish stocks, loss of topsoil, groundwater contamination, and a slew of other negative impacts on the environment (rampant pesticide use, clearcutting forests for land, biodiversity loss, the plight of bees, unwieldy use of antibiotics…we could go on) have come into the spotlight as more and more American consumers begin to ask questions about the consequences of their food choices.
According to Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, “Today, modern technology, chemistry, and transportation combine to put more distance between people and their food than ever before… In short, our food chain is broken.”
Lummi Island Wild Cooperative, a sustainable reef net fishing operation based in the Pacific Northwest. Patagonia photo.
The resurgence of interest across the nation in slow food, local food, urban agriculture, and learning to eat “ugly” food can only be the beginning of America’s food revolution. The family farm has started to make a comeback, but we’ve got a long way to go. It’s a slow start, but America’s food awakening has begun to force producers to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. With the backing of environmentally conscious companies like Patagonia, more and more media coverage, and the attraction of investments from future-thinking individuals, the food revolution seems to be gaining more and more traction.
The Patagonia Provisions program aims to bring sustainably sourced foods to customers. Patagonia photo.
This 25-minute short film “Unbroken Ground” is Patagonia’s foray into this awakening, on the heels of its Patagonia Provisions program, providing sustainably sourced food to customers. Patagonia Provisions’ goal is “the same as with everything” that the company does: “to make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and perhaps most important, inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.” Yvon Chouinard believes that “there is great opportunity—and an urgent need—for positive change in the food industry,” hoping to “[explain] the critical role food will play in the next frontier of our efforts to solve the environmental crisis.”
With “Unbroken Ground,” Patagonia explores a few of the mended links of our broken food chain, and the way farmers hope to change our relationship with our land and our oceans. These groups are sowing the fields of change through regenerative agriculture, regenerative grazing, the development of diversified crops, and sustainable fishing.