How do you think your food gets to your plate? Do you imagine a sunny day on a lush, organic farm somewhere? Birdsong lingering in the air as the wind sweeps lazily through the trees? Happy people leisurely pulling carrots (soon to be your carrots) out of the ground and packing them neatly in a crate before waving them off with a smile?
Yeah, mass produced food doesn’t look like that.
These days, mass produced food is increasingly forced in hot tents, in farms devoted to a single crop, sprayed with pesticides. When the veggies are ready, they’re flown halfway across the world to get to you. It’s far from ideal, but we’re so far removed from where our food comes from that it doesn’t even come to mind.
In May 2019 the UN warned that the biodiversity crisis will put humanity at risk. Vast spaces of land devoted to just one crop is the exact opposite to what the world needs to thrive. Luckily, John and Molly Chester appear to have found a solution.
Watching this movie gave me a strange sense of calm (for the most part – more on that in a minute). John and Molly, along with their mentor and seriously cute doggo, slowly but surely transform an essentially barren wasteland into a cool and calm oasis. By the end of the film, you get something very much close to where you think food comes from.
Being vegan, there are some aspects of the film that sit less well for me. When John talks of bonding with the piglets he’s raising to become food I couldn’t help but wonder why it was necessary to keep pigs at all – and if it was necessary, couldn’t they have been allowed to live their natural lives?
Overall the film is a good watch, and one I’d recommend to everyone concerned about the biodiversity crisis. Anyone interested in growing their own food can learn from the way John & Molly work with nature, solving problems as they arise. It’s not the way I want to see the world, but it’s a bloody big step in the right direction.
The Biggest Little Farm is released in the UK on Friday, 29th November.