• Ryan Wirick

Wake Up Before It's Too Late

“What if scarcity of food is a social construct? What if the current food paradigm is an unsustainable progress trap destined to fail and already failing? What if the chemicals in our food are making us sick? What if we could opt out of the entire experiment?


What if we could feed the world without destroying it?”


I wrote that in January of 2014, shortly after interviewing Vandana Shiva for a doc that would eventually become The Need To GROW. I had been on a kind of transformative quest for almost a year that began with an awakening about the systemic problems of our food system, but turned into action when I finally started focusing on solutions.


What changed my focus? Reading the 2013 report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development entitled Wake Up Before It Is Too Late, written by more than 50 international experts in agriculture. Frankly, it blew my mind. The solutions to our food and soil systems were not some unknowable secret, they were widely known by experts in soil science and regenerative food production.


The report calls for nothing short of a “paradigm shift in agricultural development,” including:

  • “A rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers . . .”

  • “The need for a holistic understanding of the challenges involved . . .”

  • “The need for a two-track approach that drastically reduces the environmental impact of conventional agriculture, on the one hand, and broadens the scope for agro-ecological production methods, on the other.”


If we don’t drastically reverse the damage that has been done, reports like this will serve as a distant reminder that when there was still time to solve these problems, when too many were distracted with bad news and trivial problems, many in-the-know were ringing the alarm.


Now, it’s up to all of us to spread the word. It was in this spirit that Rob and I spent years making The Need To GROW. As filmmakers, this was our way to start amplifying the message beyond our immediate reach.


Earth Conscious Life represents the continuation of that effort, and so much more.


If you’d like to read the report in-full, it’s available here.

© 2020 by EARTH CONSCIOUS LIFE