A film you may want your favorite doctor, trainer, chef and lawmaker to see

IFB county Farm Bureaus offer an opportunity to hear pop astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, see Bill Nye the "Science Guy" and others tangle on the issue of GMOs. As the New York Times review says, 'Science strikes back.'

3-27-18_photo _WS_Food Evo Team _Corporan _Margarita _Black Valley Films

Creators of the “Food Evolution” documentary, Trace Sheehan, left, and Scott Hamilton Kennedy, right, share the limelight with some of the major players associated with the film. They include, second from left, Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D., University of California-Davis, Nigerian farmer Emma Naluyima Mugerwa, Ph.D., and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., astrophysicist, author and science communicator. (Photo courtesy of Margarita Corporan, Black Valley Films)

By Mike Orso

In the documentary “Food Evolution,” scientist Alison Van Eenennaam captures a smartphone selfie image of her with Bill Nye, the “Science Guy,” following a spirited forum in New York City on genetically modified organisms or GMOs. That was three years ago. Now, Van Eenennaam has young people coming up to her asking for selfies.

“If we can engage this next generation with critical thinking skills and trying to get to the bottom of what actually is true, I think we will have accomplished our job,” said Van Eenennaam, a University of California-Davis Extension specialist and one of several scientists featured in the film.

Illinoisans will have six more opportunities to see “Food Evolution” at assorted venues in the coming days, weeks and months. Illinois Farm Bureau, through its Consumer Communications Grant program, is working with county Farm Bureaus to offer the screenings, especially to the non-farm public.

Scientist Alison Van Eenennaam captures a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy following a public forum on GMOs featured as part of the “Food Evolution” documentary. (Photo courtesy of Black Valley Films)
Scientist Alison Van Eenennaam captures a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy following a public forum on GMOs featured as part of the “Food Evolution” documentary. (Photo courtesy of Black Valley Films)

“It does try to show both sides of the argument,” said Van Eenennaam. “I think it does it in a compelling way that is of interest to anyone who eats.”

You and others can see “Food Evolution” in:

- Mattoon, Wednesday, March 28, 6:30 p.m., Lake Land College Auditorium, sponsored by Coles County Farm Bureau

- Peoria, Wednesday, April 4, 6:00 p.m., Bradley University Marty Theater, co-sponsored by Peoria and Woodford County Farm Bureaus

- Champaign, Sunday, April 8, 1:30 p.m., Art Theater, sponsored by Champaign County Farm Bureau

- East Peoria, Tuesday, April 10, 6:00 p.m., Illinois Central College Lecture/Recital Hall, co-sponsored by Peoria and Woodford County Farm Bureaus

- Quad Cities, Wednesday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., Putnam Museum, Davenport, Iowa, co-sponsored by Henry, Mercer, Rock Island County Farm Bureaus and Scott County (Iowa) Farm Bureau

- Kankakee, Thursday, June 14, 6:15 p.m., Kankakee Library, sponsored by Kankakee County Farm Bureau.

All Illinois screenings will be followed by panel discussions. Van Eenennaam has participated in several panels, including high profile ones that followed screenings to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. and the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization in Rome.

“The most satisfying ones for me are with a general public audience,” said Van Eenennaam, who specializes in animal genomics and biotechnology. “People will come up afterwards and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know anything about this topic and this has really inspired me to go learn more about it.’”

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

 

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