On Saturday,August 6, 2011, The Palm Springs Cultural Center’s Certified Farmers’ Markets will present a special screening of Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies.
Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s quest to find healthy food for her four children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to the small family farms producing these foods was being threatened. What she found were policies that favor agribusiness and factory farms over small family operated farms selling fresh foods to their communities.
Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems -- most often the industrial food chain -- policymakers and regulators implement and enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.
Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom; encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.
Special Screening of Farmageddon
Date: Saturday,August 6, 2011
Location: Camelot Theatres, 2300 East Baristo Road, Palm Springs CA 92262
Tickets available at the Camelot Theatres Box Office.
$10 donation will benefit the Certified Farmers’ Markets.
For Your Information:
Learn more about the farms featured in Farmageddon:
• Linda Faillace, the Vermont farmers whose sheep were confiscated and destroyed in 2000, wrote a book about the experience she and her husband Larry went through, entitled Mad Sheep
• More details about the ongoing case involving Steve and Barb Smith’s Meadowsweet Farm in Lodi, New York, which was raided in 2007, can be found here [http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/meadowsweet%20dairy.html].
• News clips from the 2009 incident when Athens Locally Grown [http://athens.locallygrown.net/], the cooperative buying group in Georgia that was forced to dump hundreds of gallons of raw milk, are available here
• An article about Mark Nolt, whose Newville, PA farm was raided three times in 2008, resulting in the confiscation of more than $65,000 worth of fresh food, is available here [http://www.counterpunch.org/cohen04262008.html].
• More information about the case involving Manna Storehouse in LaGrange, OH, where Jackie Stauers and her family were raided by a SWAT team for failing to have a permit to operate a food establishment in 2008, can be found here
• News articles are available about Rawsome Foods in Venice, CA, where armed agents raided a private food buying club in 2010 despite having no evidence of a complaint or harm [http://articles.latimes.com/print/2010/jul/25/business/la-firaw-
food-raid-20100725], and Healthy Family Farms in Ventura County, CA,
[http://www.fillmoregazette.com/front-page/healthy-family-farms-expa...] where Sharron Palmer faced a similar raid.
• Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm [http://www.polyfacefarms.com/] is a family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
• Organic Pastures [http://www.organicpastures.com/], Mark Macafee’s raw milk dairy in the San Joaquin Valley of California, produces raw milk from 100% grass-fed cows and distributes raw dairy products throughout the state.
You can make a difference.
Make a statement with your food dollars. Where you shop and what you purchase is an excellent way to influence policies that determine how our food is produced.
Whenever possible, buy food from the source. The growth of farmstands, farmers markets, CSAs and buying clubs has made access to fresh produce, dairy products, meats and baked goods for everyone.
Ask your local grocers to carry products from local farms.
Talk to restaurant owners and chefs about local foods, and encourage them to source their ingredients locally.
Work with your town’s school lunch program to encourage them to purchase ingredients from local farms [http://www.farmtoschool.org/].
Encourage local health care providers to teach their patients about the value of eating local, nutrient-dense foods.
Get to know your local farmers, and encourage them to educate their consumers as well.
Educate yourself, your friends and your family. There are many excellent sources of information about food freedom, local foods, and food policy.
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund [http://www.ftcldf.org/] defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and protects consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.
The Weston A Price Foundation [http://www.westonaprice.org/] is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association [http://www.nicfa.com/] promotes and preserves unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products.
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance [http://farmandranchfreedom.org/] works to save family farms and individuals from expensive and unnecessary government regulation.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) [http://www.nofa.org/] is a membership organization of more than 5,000 farmers, gardeners and consumers working to promote health food, organic farming practices and a cleaner environment.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) [http://sustainableagriculture.net/about-us/] is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture,
food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
Contact your elected officials [http://www.congress.org/]. Let your federal, state and local representatives know that their positions on agriculture and food issues matter to you. Remind them that policies that support small family farms are good for the economy, the environment, and for everyone’s health.
The Certified Farmers Markets Film Series screens films that are about our modern food culture; sometimes exposing dangerous situations, and at other times focusing on the good things that are taking place with local farmers, on small farms, in the United States food industry, and in our world as a whole. The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center.
The Palm Springs Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.