The Collegian
Monday, February 26, 2024

"In Organic We Trust" documentary screened at Richmond

The documentary "In Organic We Trust" was screened in the North Court Reception Room this Monday as part of the Roosevelt Institute's Documentaries in the Greek program.

The movie was followed by a talkback about reactions to the movie and the organic food movement. Attendees included students, a faculty member, a member of the community working in sustainable food practices and a recent graduate of University of Richmond who wrote his thesis on alternative food practices.

The Roosevelt Institute on campus is a chapter of the national public policy think tank with the purpose of bringing together students who are passionate about policy and social justice issues. There are currently more than 100 chapters nationwide.

Previous documentaries screened as part of the Documentaries in the Greek program include "The Laramie Project," "Dirty Wars" and "The Central Park Five."

The film sought to answer questions about what organic food is and if organic food is healthier than non-organic food, or if the organic label is just a marketing scam.

However, few attendees were satisfied with the information presented in the film, and talkback discussion focused on the shortcomings of the presentation.

"I thought the documentary was not very well done," Taylor Holden, a junior and member of the Roosevelt Institute, said. "It was way too broad and full of too many cliches.

"If we had been able to pre-screen the movie we probably would have switched to a different documentary on food. I have seen several that are much better."

Sean Hickey, a senior and also a member of Richmond's Roosevelt Institute, said he was frustrated with the documentary. He said it was beneficial for people to have gotten an overview of the issue, but this documentary had left a lot of open questions regarding resolutions and even causes.

"I hope that students who watched the documentary can use the film as a starting point for an ongoing discussion on what we consume and we expect from those who produce it," junior Anne Colglianese said.

Richmond recognized the interest of students in organic food and food justice in naming next years' One Book, One Richmond, "The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed A Community and Inspired a Movement" by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis.

Copies of the book are now available at the bookstore.

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"The more people who know about the issues in food justice, the more power our community has to effect change," Hickey said.

Contact Collegian Reporter Danielle Schweizer at

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