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New Organic Documentary Film Released: Organic Rising

by Gaea Denker |

Organic Rising, the new feature-length film directed by Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award winner Anthony Suau, is now available to watch online. It aims to demystify organic agriculture, and provides thoughtful, well-researched insights even for consumers who are already well-versed in the merits of organic.

Organic Rising presents a wide range of voices from across the organic and conventional food production spectrum, including people from the CCOF community who have contributed to and helped grow the organic movement since the 1970s.

One of the most compelling ideas the film brings forth is that, while traditional agriculture relies on chemistry, organic agriculture relies on biology. This means organic methods take entire ecological systems into account, from microorganisms in the soil to animals, humans, and water systems. Organic agriculture may demand careful thought in the balancing of all the elements, but once mastered, it provides the sustainable solutions our planet demands.

The documentary has done its homework. It illustrates (often literally, with animations) how harmful synthetic chemicals show up miles away from application. It presents clear studies illustrating synthetic pesticides’ long-term effects on groundwater and the human body. It also showcases uplifting data about carbon sequestration in healthy soil, how organic cattle ranching can restore grasslands, and increases in health and equity when consumers have direct access to organic farm products. It lays out clear, compelling data about market demand and profitability on organic and conventional farms – with similar yields, organic commands higher prices and more profit. 

This film tackles many misconceptions around organic and provides data to counter common arguments such as “organic farms use pesticides too.” (Hint: it isn’t equivalent to traditional farming because, unlike synthetic chemicals, organic pesticides don’t persist in the environment and don’t impact non-target species. Plus, fewer pesticides are needed because organic works with biology – a healthy ecological system helps to manage itself.)

Organic Rising takes the long view. It looks at the true cost of products – comparing organic’s higher prices with a lack of subsidies and environmental damage that costs consumers billions. It presents research on inheritable birth defects from synthetic chemicals that persist in human DNA for multiple generations. It takes a holistic view of soil, rainfall, birth rates, economy, culture, and natural disasters that encourages viewers to consider the bigger picture. 

Watch Rising Organic at