The national broadcast premiere of the Oscar®-nominated documentary Food, Inc. on April 21, 2010 at 9 p.m. on PBS’ POV (Point of View) series jump-started a national conversation about the food we eat, where it comes from and how we can consume a more healthful, sustainable diet. POV partnered with viewers, bloggers, journalists, public television stations, schools, community groups and eco-friendly companies to promote screenings, discussions and potluck parties; the Food, Inc. website streamed the full-length film for an additional week and conducted a National Potluck Campaign inviting people to host a meal, watch the film, talk about the issues and share their stories. Fifty people in 22 states and Canada have been selected to receive free gift baskets with products from corporate sponsors. (See details below.)
In the blockbuster Food, Inc., producer-director Robert Kenner and investigative authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) lift the veil on the U.S. food industry, revealing eye-opening facts about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we may go from here.
“We are extremely gratified by the outpouring of support the Food, Inc. broadcast and Potluck Campaign have received,” said Cynthia Lopez, Executive Vice President, POV. “Our goal was simple: to increase public awareness about healthy eating, food safety and how food is produced in the United States. Helping to build a movement of people wanting to learn more about the connections between food and health is a vital part of that effort.”
- Food, Inc. averaged a 1.3 household rating with an average audience of 1.87 million viewers.
- More than 165,000 people watched the film on the PBS website and at local community events. “Food, Inc.” and “POV” were in the top 10 search terms on the PBS website in the two weeks following the broadcast, with “Food, Inc.” occupying the No. 1 spot for most of that time.
- There were more than 400,000 visitors to the Food, Inc. website during the month of April. The “Host a Potluck” page was the third most-popular destination on the Food, Inc. site, trailing only the homepage and the streaming video page.
- The Potluck Campaign hashtag — #foodincparty — was tweeted over 3,200 times during the month of April, and a tune-in notice POV/PBS reached a total of over 100,000 people according to TweetReach. Twitterati including Jamie Oliver and Michael Pollan lent their tweets to the cause. The film garnered over 500 comments from viewers on the POV website and over 200 comments on POV’s Facebook Fan page.
- See some of the potluck images that people have uploaded to POV’s Food, Inc. Flickr group.
Community Engagement and Education:
- More than 120 people have shared anecdotes and photos of their potluck parties. Over 400 people signed up to join the Potluck Campaign and received POV tool kits.
- In addition to potluck parties, POV organized 33 community screenings in 20 states, attended by more than 6,000 people. Community activities ranged from a potluck and screening at a health food store in Paducah Ky., to a health fair in Brooklyn, N.Y., to a screening at a Washington D.C. public school hosted by PBS station WETA and Georgetown University.
- Nearly 7,000 people have viewed POV’s Food, Inc. lesson plans These standards-based lesson plans focus on reading and evaluating nutrition labels, investigating how agricultural subsidies influence food choices, health and the economy, and exploring the benefits and controversies of using genetically modified seeds.
National Potluck Campaign Sponsors and Gift Basket Recipients:
- Amy’s Kitchen, Branch, Equator Coffees and Teas, Greenfeet.com, HarperCollins Press, Magnolia Home Entertainment, Numi Organic Tea, Participant Media, Penguin Press, River Road Entertainment and Stonyfield Farms donated products for POV Food, Inc. free gift baskets given to selected viewers and bloggers who participated in the POV Food, Inc. Potluck Campaign.
- Gift baskets were sent to Potluck participants in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. For a list of recipients, visit the POV website.
About the Sponsors:
- Amy’s Kitchen produces delicious, nourishing frozen meals for health-conscious people too busy to cook. Amy’s food tastes so good because it’s made from the kind of real food ingredients that people use in their own kitchens…no MSG, no additives, no preservatives, no GMO’s and no trans fats.
- Branch is an online store featuring the best in sustainable design for your home. Founded by a designer with a deep commitment to sustainability, Branch is your source for beautiful and thoughtfully made housewares, gifts, furnishings, and biodegradable tableware, including the WASARA collection.
- Equator Coffees and Teas is a women-owned specialty coffee and tea company with a deep commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Equator’s empowered supply chain extends from crop to cup, and is backed by longstanding relationships with farmers, chefs and consumers who are passionate about quality.
- Greenfeet.com is an established e-tailer of thousands of eco-friendly goods for home, garden and self, which is committed to providing quality, affordable goods designed to help simplify and green your life — all with a humorous slant. Green living does not have to be expensive or boring — we’ll show you how.
- In 2001, HarperCollins Press published The New York Times bestseller Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser, a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that has changed the way America thinks about the way it eats.
- Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain, the production company 2929 Productions and the high definition cable network HDNet. Magnolia’s recent releases include such critically acclaimed films as the Oscar nominated documentary Food, Inc., Oscar winner Man on Wire, James Gray’s Two Lovers, Stephen Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Expereince, Bong Joon-Ho’s Mother, and Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse. Upcoming releases include Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love, Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Neil Jordan’s Ondine, Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini’s The Extra Man, Dagur Kari’s The Good Heart, the hard hitting nuclear weapons documentary Countdown to Zero, and many more.
- Numi Organic Tea was founded in 1999 by brother-sister duo Ahmed and Reem Rahim to bring unique, high-quality Organic and Fair Trade Certified teas to consumers around the world. To create the purest tea on the planet, Numi is committed to sourcing directly from farmers only the highest quality, premium full-leaf teas and real fruits, flowers, herbs and spices without the added oils or flavorings (including “natural flavorings”) common to the market. Numi is a pioneer in sustainable business practices such as ethical sourcing, ecological packaging, carbon offsetting, and social enterprise.
- Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television, as well as publishing and digital media. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Syriana, Standard Operating Procedure, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc., The Informant!, The Crazies and Good Night and Good Luck.
- In 2006, Penguin Press published The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The New York Times bestseller that has changed the way readers view the ecology of eating. This revolutionary book by award winner Michael Pollan asks the seemingly simple question: What should we have for dinner? Tracing from source to table each of the food chains that sustain us — whether industrial or organic, alternative or processed — he develops a portrait of the American way of eating. The result is a sweeping, surprising exploration of the hungers that have shaped our evolution, and of the profound implications our food choices have for the health of our species and the future of our planet.
- Formed by William Pohlad in 1987, River Road Entertainment is one of America’s leading independent production companies known for financing and developing unconventional films and documentaries that astonish, inspire, reveal and provoke. Beginning with the groundbreaking epic Brokeback Mountain, the company has produced an impressive slate of films, which include among others Into The Wild, Food, Inc. and the upcoming The Tree of Life.
- Stonyfield Farm, celebrating its 27th year, is the world’s leading organic yogurt company. Its all natural and certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its organic ingredient purchases keep over 100,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers that can contaminate soil, rivers and drinking water. Stonyfield also donates 10% of its profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth.