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Food Evolution

Photo courtesy of Black Valley Films
"A scene from Food Evolution directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy

The Iowa State Fair is known worldwide as a showcase for all things food-related. This year, that includes a new documentary about a controversial topic: genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Food Evolution was commissioned by the non-profit, International Food Technologists and it seeks to "follow the science" to get the truth about GMOs. The science led the filmmakers to produce something that comes down squarely in favor of what they say is a technique that's misunderstood and often vilified.

Writer and producer, Trace Sheehan says the filmmakers were given complete editorial control. He says the goal of Food Evolution is to create a more science-based, evidence-backed conversation about a controversial subject. "We know we're not going to be able to change everybody's minds, but hopefully we'll be able to find those commonalities and evolve the debate a little bit."

Academy award-nominated director Scott Kennedy says they saw the GMO debate as a metaphor for the dangers of not using science to make good decisions. "We're living in pretty chaotic times, and if we don't use science to make good decisions, as our esteemed narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson says, that's the end of an informed democracy."

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Kennedy and Sheehan about the research that went into the film.  Food Evolution is showing daily in the Maytag Family Theaters at the Iowa State Fair.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk