10,000 years ago the biggest revolution in human history occurred: we became agrarians. We ceased merely hunting and gathering and began to farm, breeding and domesticating plants that have resulted in the crops we eat today. But the genetic diversity of these domesticated crops, which were developed over millennium, is steadily vanishing. And the consequences of this loss could be dire. As the production of high yielding, uniform varieties has increased, diversity has declined. For example, within U.S. vegetable crop options we now have less than seven percent of the diversity that existed just a century ago. We are confronted with the global pressures of feeding a growing population, in a time when staple crops face new threats from disease and changing climates. Crop diversity pioneer Cary Fowler travels the world, educating the public about the dire consequences of our inaction. Along with his team at The Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, Cary struggles to re-invent a global food system so that it can, in his words, "last forever". Cary aims to safeguard the last place that much of our diversity is left intact: in the world's vulnerable gene banks.
McLeod challenges the audience to think about the industrialization of our food system. "We don't grow for nutrition to begin with: why? Everything nutritional is taken out, including the antioxidants. Taking out the nutrients can cause the food to go rancid, so then you have to add preservatives. If you just took the whole grain and milled it with all that good stuff still in it, we would have all the nutrients." She points out that vitamin companies profit from the 'enriching' process of reintroducing vitamins, and also reminds us that the entire processed foods industry is not about creating nutrient-rich foods, but about monetizing food production." Kira Hammond, California Academy of Sciences
"It's impossible not to admire the work of the forward-thinking seed-banking heroes in the film. Fowler's story shines as a beacon among the many efforts of crop diversity preservation throughout history." Audrey Jenkins, Gracelinks.org
"Visually stirring [...] well-shot cautionary tale. The seed vault Fowler builds is objectively important and subjectively impressive." Diana Clarke, LA Weekly
"The documentary Seeds of Time offers a vital, clear-handed look at the effecs of climate change on global food security." Gary Goldstein, LA Times
"Beautifully shot with fascinating close-ups of exotic seeds of every imaginable color, shape and structure, the film shows the boundless riches of Mother Nature and implicitly demands that we respect them. Quite an eye opener." Jennifer Merin, Womensenews.org
"At the center of the film, and mainly what makes Seeds of Time so riveting and engrossing is its protagonist, Cary Fowler. Fowler is the current Executive Director of Crop Trust, an international organization whose focus is to save crop diversity. Seeds of Time takes us on a global journey showing the unsung heroes who are working behind the scenes in varied forms to address the seeds of our future." Steve V. Rodriguez, Progressivepulse.com
"Filmmaker Sandy McLeod looks at the efforts of individuals, organizations and governments the create 'seed banks' around the world..." ★★★ Video Librarian