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The Story Of Food

What’s happened to the quality of our food?

Why is there so much food for some while more than a billion people in the world today don’t have enough to eat? The Story of Food will get you thinking about our broken food system and what’s gone wrong!

Each one of us can help rebuild a healthier food system and regain our lost connection with real food and the people who grow it. We can do this with the food choices we make every day. Watch the video and then dig deeper using the buttons in the right-hand column. We also invite you to join with USC Canada in finding solutions, by supporting our work with farming communities around the world.


Creative Commons License
The Story of Food by USC Canada is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.

Having trouble viewing the video through YouTube or Vimeo? You can download a high-rez zip version (130MB) of the video by clicking on the button on the right. You can also download a low-resolution, 30 MB, .flv version of the film that will play with free programs like Winamp, VLC player, RealPlayer, or on Windows Media Player. Simply right click on this link then select “Save target as…” and save the file to your computer before playing the file.  

25 Responses to “The Story Of Food”
  1. This is an excellent video, especially for people who do not stop to think where their food comes from and what they are really eating. I get most of my food locally and grow as much as possible. However, the young adult population in particular, who are busy working and raising families,very often do not think about the origins and nutritional value of what their families are eating. It is so fast and easy to go to the supermarket and you can get such a large selection of fruit and vegetables, so surely that must be healthy! This short video is so informative and can really change what people believe.
    Our small community is setting up a seed bank of locally grown seeds that do well in this climate. We have a growing interest in locally grown food and our farmers market. We have recently formed a transition towns society. However we do need to get more young people involved. So yes, there is hope and it is possible to change things
    Thank you!

  2. Alison Hackney says:

    The video is good, and very artistically done. But there are still very many – most- farmers, even “small”, who use chemicals in their fields and are still very good farmers, very conservation minded and concerned about the future of farming. The message of the video: chemical=bad, is a bit too simplistic and I think might turn these people off. Also, consumers should not be persuaded to see them as “bad”.

  3. Susan Walsh says:

    Thank you for taking the time to register your comments, Alison. We reviewed the video again with your comments in mind. We do refer to how the use of “too much chemical fertilizers and pesticides” is undermining soil fertitliy. We also recommend that people purchase local, organic, or fair trade whenever possible. Still, we do know that local produce is not always chemical-free. Our intent is to draw attention to these issues and encourage public debate. We also hope this short film draws overdue attention to the important role of small-scale farmers.

  4. Mark Austin says:

    Thank you! Thank you!

    This great little video is making the rounds. I had four e-mails from friends telling me about it yesterday.

    We’ll be using it to generate discussion at some meetings. Do we need permission to play it for a group? Is it available on a DVD?

  5. I really like the revised version and will happily promote it. Any chance of adding a link to Food Secure Canada as the way you can connect to the food movement in Canada?

  6. ghislaine de saint venant says:

    Fabulous and educational short! Would you have by any chance a French version;I know this is a costly proposition but it would be another very good way to get the message across to my students, if it is legally possible.
    I am definitely forwarding this to others.

  7. USC Canada says:

    Thank you for the compliments. We’re very happy that you’re sharing the video. We are currently working on producing a French version of the film. It’s been translated and the voice work is done. At this point we’re just waiting for the animators to put the finishing touches on the video and then we will post it on our website.

    We will send out a notice once it’s posted – both through our website RSS feed as well as through our E-newsletter, so make sure to sign up for one (or both) of those to be notified when it’s ready.

  8. Amy Brunning says:

    This vidoe is an excellent educational tool with clear message about the importance of knowing the source of our food. I am so pleased to be able to incorporate this video as an introduction to a presentation for my Grad Program in Ecosystem Restoration. I hope to demonstrate to my class through this vidoe and my own gardening experiences that even small scale potted gardens are an easy supplement that anyone can grow. Signed: A gardener just getting into heirloom vegetables.

  9. USC Canada says:

    We’re working on building a mini-website for this video that will feature more resources and delve more into actions people can take to affect positive change. We hope to have the site running by the end of March. You will still be able to access it via our regular website, or through

  10. Zaniez says:

    I watched the Bruce Cockburn ‘Return to Nepal’ documentary and was drawn to learn more.

    I was born on a family farm in SW Saskatchewan where we worked hard to provide for own food supply. Our parents immigrated from Lebanon and growing your own food was part of their culture and we were poor so this was a necessary part of life.

    Over the past few years I have been trying to promote a community farm in my neighbourhood. I believe that we all need to start providing for ourselves on a local level. Everybody is starting community gardens but what I propose is an educational farm that would have opportunities to learn natural (good old fashioned) methods of food production. I believe this farm would also be fill a missing link in modern social structure.

    One of the most important reasons to have a local source is natural or manmade disaster. How long will the supermarket be able to supply our needs? It would be days if not hours.

    Thank you for your good works. If you consider trying your program in Canada (or supporting one woman’s goal to teach the new generation the old way of life I would be very grateful.)

    Keep up the great work!!!

  11. Zaniez says:

    The one thing I kept thinking is this video needs to be in our schools as soon as possible. We need to educate the generation coming up. A parent may be more likely to pay attention if their children are talking about a healthy food supply.

  12. Vanessa says:

    This is an excellent video. As a secondary school student, I agree that it needs to be in our schools. We recently had an in-class debate about genetically Modified foods. Myself, and two other classmates were the only ones defending the natural, organic way of farming in a class of thirty students. I recently had the opportunity attend a conference about USC and seed sovereignty. I have done a lot of research on this topic. I came to the conclusion that many people are misinformed. They know that GM foods boost crop production, but have no idea about the long-term effects that it has on our bodies and on our environment. They do not believe that it could hurt farmers if it boosts crop production. I thank you for your video. Knowledge is power and I hope that this effects many.

  13. Pawel Porowski says:

    I commend the crew for the effort it has put into this excellent short. It is no small feat to summarize such a wide array of issues into a three minute clip and to make it coherent. I myself buy local and organic when possible, and work in the environmental sector raising awareness among various groups in the population of Montreal, Quebec. My concern is to what extent the video is understandable to individuals who have not researched issues of food sovereignty and security. I feared at times that some of the arguments presented were conjectural, and some lacked context and depth. A LOT can be said about each of the underlying issues (transport, GMO, chemicals, etc), and providing context is just as important as providing statistics for understanding any problem.
    Having had numerous conversations over the years relating to these issues as well as others such as climate change, I am sensitive to how skeptics sometimes may perceive “educational” videos as propaganda if these don’t present a sufficiently structured argument. I propose lengthening the video a tab to provide a little more meat to some of the issues like biodiversity (why is it important?) and climate change (how does it affect production, and who bears the cost?). I suggest mentioning some references as well, just to give integrity to the information if individuals want to find out more.
    Once again, well done!

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  15. michelle smith says:

    This is a great introductory video! I was wondering if I might be allowed to show it to some of the junior high school classes I am giving presentations to this fall. Can you let me know. I was going to write to Kate anyway to request more seed maps. Thanks — Michelle

  16. [...] I get asked about 10 times a week to do “The Story of Food”. I’m not going to make a story of food. First, it’s not my expertise. I’m a stuff person. I’ve spent 20 years understanding systems of production consumption related to stuff. Increasingly, our industrialized agriculture mirrors our industrialized other stuff. There is a film, produced by a Canadian group, “Story of Food.” [...]

  17. shonda says:

    thats crazy how they can be like tht on there foods why is the state always doing that on food some just dont care bout food

  18. shonda says:

    ya the veido is very good but u do they do that to ppl thats wat i want to know lol

  19. shonda says:

    i was the ends of it my class had saw it and they had cryed

  20. V says:

    I think this is a very poor video for grade school children. It jumps too quickly from one facet to the next in what is a wide complicated subject. It’s too rushed.
    And the snarky voices do not help.

  21. Alex says:

    Thanks for your feedback about Story of Food. The target audience for this video was an older demographic.
    We have had good feedback from high school age audiences and adults who seem to like the spritely pace and slightly cheeky tone. The video was meant to be an introduction to key issues about the food system and to tweak curiousity and interest to learn more by visiting our Story of Food web pages which provide more information about the key ideas raised. We have received positive feedback from teachers of Grade 7 & 8 levels. However, your comments have been noted and will be considered should we ever wish to produce another video for elementary age groups.

  22. jenny says:

    Good message – keep to the fundamentals.

  23. [...] learn more about global food systems, watch this short Story of Food video or see Wayne Roberts’ No Nonsense Guide to World [...]

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