Film premiering in Portland examines US farming system

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 6:45 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A film focusing on keeping soil healthy through a unique type of farming is premiering in Portland this week.

The producers of ‘Common Ground’ feel our current farm to consumer food model is broken. They want people to know about the problem now and what can be done to create a better future. The solution, they say, is regenerative agriculture.

New Seasons Market is adding more products made with regenerative agriculture. Alan Hummel, the director of meat and seafood for the stores, said it’s better for the company and the planet. He said the store has been focused on carrying sustainable meat and seafood since the beginning.

“Working with a small group of ranchers that were really invested in taking care of the animals as well as the health of the pastures that the animals were on,” Hummel said.

SEE ALSO: Reducing food waste a focus in Portland as it rises nationwide

This has recently included carrying products from a regenerative farm, which makes sure soil is restored after it’s used. That’s done through grazing rotation of animals and reducing the use of chemicals.

“If a consumer focuses on those items - that is supporting good soil health, good regenerative practices across the board,” Hummel said.

That’s why New Seasons is helping to host ‘Common Ground’ film producers Josh and Rebecca Tickell for the premiere in Portland. They say the farming cycle is broken in the U.S.

“Right now we have a food system that is degenerating the planet,” Rebecca Tickell said. “It’s degenerating our bodies.”

They also produced another film called ‘Kiss the Ground’ about farming practices in the country.

SEE ALSO: City of Portland presents $750M climate investment plan

‘Common Ground’ includes narrations from major actors like Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Rosario Dawson and Jason Mamoa.

“People who see these films they want to change things.” Josh Tickell said. “We think Portland’s a great community for that.”

The producers said people have taken notice because of the impacts to the economy, farms and health. Hummel said it’s what he’s seen too, and it can make a difference for the food we end up eating.

“How (consumers) do their purchases,” he said. “The items that they purchase will have a substantial impact on the industry.”

‘Common Ground’ is showing Thursday through Oct. 5 at Cinema 21 on Northwest 21st Avenue in Portland. You can buy tickets here.