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CBU Welcomes Food, Inc. and The Omnivore's Dilemma Farmer, Joel Salatin, to Campus

MEMPHIS – Local farmers Brandon Pugh and Ray Tyler’s Small Farms for Big Change will present a film about Virginian farmer, author, and activist Joel Salatin at Christian Brothers University this Saturday, February 27. The film, Polyfaces, will be shown in University Theater at 7 p.m, with a Q&A discussion with Joel Salatin, followed by a reception after the screening. Salatin is well know for being featured in the groundbreaking documentary film Food, Inc, as well as The Omnivore’s Dilemma. This event is made possible by the collaboration of Small Farms for Big Change, Marmilu Farms, Memphis Center for Food and Faith, Grow Memphis, Urban Farms, Bring it Food Hub and Christian Brothers University. The screening of Polyfaces is also in conjunction with the Up Up! Farm Film Festival, a series of films featured throughout Memphis and the mid-south that aim to promote discussions about the future of food in the U.S.

Polyfaces is a joyful film about connecting to the land and the community. The film follows the story of one Australian family who decides to spend their life savings and travel to the USA, spending four years to study a style of farming that will help change the fate of humanity and offers an alternative route to producing food in a way that works with nature, not against it. Using the symbiotic relationships of animals and their natural functions, they produce high quality, nutrient-dense products. Set amidst the stunning Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia, Polyfaces is led by the “the world’s most innovative farmer,” according to TIME magazine, who uses no chemicals and feeds over 6,000 families and many restaurants and food outlets within a three-hour ‘foodshed’ of their farm. 

According to the film’s website, “We show how they regenerate their landscapes, communities, local economies, customer’s health and most importantly their soils. We meet various characters and follow their powerful, personal journeys as they benefit physically and emotionally from the Salatin’s way of farming. This model is being replicated throughout our global village, proving that we can provide quality produce without depleting our planet.” 

The evening’s focus on farming also coincides with several CBU initiatives that aim to expose students to topics of sustainability and local farming. For example, in the classroom, Religion and Philosophy professor Dr. Emily Holmes teaches a course on food justice called “The Spirituality and Ethics of Eating,” which involves broadening students’ understanding of how eating is an agricultural act, as well as a nutritional act.     

“What we eat is directly connected to how food is grown,” comments Holmes. “As we explore the complexities of the food system, we begin to examine the possibilities for more environmentally sustainable farming and food production.”

While sustainable farming makes up a minority of all the food that’s produced in the U.S., Salatin’s farm offers a working model to strive for, both inside and outside the classroom. During Saturday’s screening and Q&A session, students will have the chance to learn from the experiences of a farmer who is actively embodying many of the lessons they discuss in the classroom. Additionally, the event represents an opportunity to collaborate with agencies around Memphis to foster more robust conversations about a topic that many experience, but few know intimately.   

“This event also speaks to our mission as a university to partner with other organizations and to host events that benefit the entire community, including our local farmers” says Dr. Holmes. “Because we all eat, we all benefit from learning more about where our food comes from and the effects of our food choices on land, animals, and people."       

Tickets to the event are $15 and may be purchased in advance and FREE for students. You can also learn more about the event HERE


Polyfaces Trailer from RegrariansMedia on Vimeo.

Posted by Joshua Colfer at 9:16 AM