An article about Diversidad from Dawson college student paper

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Here is an article that Alexia Armato wrote about Diversidad in the Dawson student paper The Plant:


Last week’s documentary screening at Dawson touched on an important topic that affects human societies’ at large, and the natural environment. Diversidad, A Road trip to Deconstruct Dinner, told the story of a journey that started in Montreal and continued through Cancun, Mexico.

15 Montrealers in the summer of the year 2003, after arriving in British Columbia by train, set out to cross the Unites-States by bicycle. Once at Mexico’s boarders, they would travel by bus to their final destination. September 10th to the 14th 2003 would inaugurate the 5th WTO (World Trade Organization) ministerial conference in Cancun. Their goal was to take part in the protest against WTO’s agreement on agriculture.

This agreement, if passed, would lower tariffs to allow the constant flow of goods, namely food, to travel between countries. Although this agreement seemed ideal, it would have a profound impact on the ecological effects of crops and the environment, as well as severely impact local farmers and workers.

The major treaty agreement on agriculture would cause countries to conform in specializing in one specific crop type, creating vast monocultures throughout agricultural landscapes. Monocultures; already prominent in our food production systems today, depletes biodiversity and aids in soil corrosion. Monocultures are also large magnets that attract insecticides, herbicides, GMO’s and Monsanto seeds.

This system would also increasingly affect local farmers and workers, as Stephan Verna, co-director of the documentary Diversidad, said that “this system leads to the death of the local market”. Local farmers are now competing with industrialized foods which are cheaper, due to the free trade agreement such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the WTO agreement.

The protest against the WTO agreement gathered farmers, workers, visionaries and “soulutionairies” from around the world. Stephan Verna said that he and his crew learnt a lot about the production of food on this trip and they continue to learn about alternatives that support local farmers and environmental sustainability back home. Buying local foods from certified CSA farmers can “take the control out of the hands of corporations and place it into the hands of the people” as Verna said. Diversidad, as Verna puts it, “paints a portrait of alternatives” and indulges the audience with knowledge about the most important aspect to human survival; food. It makes you wonder where your food comes from.


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