Food For Change is an 82 minute, feature-length documentary film focusing on food co-ops as a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture. The movie tells the story of the cooperative movement in the U.S. through interviews, rare archival footage, and commentary by the filmmaker and social historians. This is the first film to examine the important historical role played by food co-ops, their pioneering quest for organic foods, and their current efforts to create regional food systems. Additionally, the film shows how the co-op movement strengthens communities where they are located, enhancing local economies and food security. The goal is to educate a wide national audience about the principles of cooperation with a focus on food.
The project began when award-winning filmmaker and co-op member Steve Alves was asked to make a film for the Franklin Community Co-op, located in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Alves uncovered many historical films and stories about the increase of cooperatives during the Great Depression — achievements which were later thwarted when consumerism and the cold war prevailed as dominant economic and social forces. Food co-ops re-emerged from the tumultuous events of the 1960s as an alternative to factory farms and corporate grocery chains.
The 2-DVD set of Food For Change includes:
- Food For Change, feature film (82 mmins)
- Food For Change: The Twin Cities Story
United Nations’ International Year of Cooperatives award-winning short film (15 mins)
- Pre-Show Music by Midnight Swerve Jazz Trio
- Talking to the Wall
Steve Alves’ award-winning documentary about the history of chain stores and one town’s battle with the world’s largest retailer (57 mins)
- The Co-ops are Comin’ (archival film)
- Here Is Tomorrow (archival film)
- How To Get Cooperation (archival film)
- Citizen Dave Douglas (archival film)