Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  82 minutes
Date:  2017
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
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Food For Change

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The deep history of cooperatives in America — the country's longest-surviving alternative economic system.

Food For Change

FOOD FOR CHANGE looks at the current resurgence of food cooperatives in America and their unique historic place in the economic and political landscape. Born in the heartland, cooperatives are seen as the middle path between Wall Street and Socialism.

The film profiles several food co-ops that have revived neighborhoods and communities - right in the shadows of corporate agribusinesses and supermarket chains. It's an inspiring example of community-centered economies thriving in an age of globalization.

'If you want your students to understand relationships among the environment, food, economics, democracy, and government...then you want them to see this film. This is the rare, uplifting but honest film about history and possibilities; about how things are and how they might be. Today more than ever it is important for them to understand the role of politics and policy in their own lives and what they can do about it where they live.' E. Paul Durrenberger, Co-founder, The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Iowa and Penn State University

'Food for Change is about food coops as meaningful - and highly successful - alternatives to our country's current industrialized food system. It situates the cooperative movement in 20th century history and focuses on its role in social change by establishing deep roots in local communities. This film should inspire anyone interested in creating socially just, community supported, and economically viable enterprises.' Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, Author, Food Politics

'Food for Change is just the kind of nourishment our minds and hearts need right now! The documentary explains key historical moments and trends, traces the multiple roots of the cooperative food movement, and illustrates how groups and communities are taking charge of their food futures. This is an indispensable resource for people who want to understand how a cooperative vision can guide one of the most important domains of the economy and our lives.' George Cheney, Professor of Communication, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Author, Values at Work

'Food for Change is an inspiring but also hard hitting and realistic historical look at the up and down road for Co-ops in the US. It does an excellent job of conveying the broad social, economic, and environmental potential of these entities and would be a tremendous introduction and training tool for Co-op members and leaders.' Dr. Alice Ammerman, Director, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Professor of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

'In a time when 'local,' 'organic,' and 'sustainable' are terms regularly used by large grocery chains to encourage an illusion of a food system customers want it is important that students know the critical - though often unnoticed - roles that co-ops have played for generations connecting consumers to farmers with democracy, honesty and transparency.' Dr. Sean Clark, Associate Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Director of Berea College Farm, Berea College

'Historic and contemporary footage, expert interviews, and archival stills offer a broader context for [the filmmaker's] comments, which position the co-op movement with a frame of democratic values that are being expressed through an economic enterprise...A fine documentary on a timely subject, this is highly recommended.' Video Librarian 3.5 stars

'This film is absolutely a well-researched, superbly compiled and masterfully delivered work...It is an inspiring and emotionally passionate fruit of labor and compassion. It begs for sharing, opens the door to involvement and solution.' George Nelson, Farmer, Sweetbay Produce and Nursery, Huger, SC

'I felt energized by the movie. I loved all of the historical background and couldn't help feel that what we're doing will be historic someday too. The movie made me believe that we can do anything!' Linda Balek, Steering Committee Member, Food Shed Co-op, Woodstock, IL (start-up co-op)


East Lansing Film Festival
Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Friday Harbor Film Festival
Doctober Film Festival
Plaza Classic Film Festival
Niagara Integrated Film Festival


Main credits

Alves, Steve (screenwriter)
Alves, Steve (film producer)
Alves, Steve (film director)
Alves, Steve (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

[Camera, Alan Dater [and 3 others]; music, Joe Podlesny].

Distributor credits

Home Planet Pictures

Steve Alves

Home Planet Pictures
Steve Alves
Writer/Editor: Steve Alves
Co-Producers: Robert Allen, Andrew M. Curran
Camera: Alan Dater, Rawn Fulton, David Skillicorn, Daniel Keller
Animation and Graphics: Thom Dudley
Music: Joe Podlesny

Docuseek2 subjects

Local Economies
Labor Studies
American Studies
U.S. History

Distributor subjects

American Democracy
American Studies
Business Practices
Food And Nutrition
Labor and Work Issues
Local Economies


history of food cooperatives, food co-op, history of food co-ops, co-op, alternative economic system, socialism, wall street, agribusiness, supermarkets,supermarket chains, chain stores, monopolies, food system, community-centered economies, the depression, economic recession, resurgence of co-ops, Massachusetts; "Food For Change"; Bullfrog Films

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