February 25, 2014
A family that almost lost their son to a foodborne superbug is changing the way Americans think about food with a new documentary film and public engagement campaign called Food Patriots.
When: Wednesday, February 26th at 7pm CST, a free online film premiere of the new documentary Food Patriots (74 minutes), followed by a Twitter chat (#FoodPatsChat). The filmmakers and experts from Consumers Union, Pew Charitable Trusts and NRDC will be on the chat to answer questions. Media are invited. RSVP at www.FoodPatriots.com/exclusive.
What: Food Patriots begins with a wake up call: filmmakers Jeff Spitz and Jennifer Amdur Spitz’s son got sick eating chicken contaminated with a superbug, and antibiotics failed. The film chronicles the family’s newfound interest in food sources, getting outlaw chickens, and meeting people from all walks of life who are trying to change the way Americans eat food, buy food, and educate the next generation of consumers. They call the people who are doing this Food Patriots.
Food Patriots and its public screening/discussion events offer personal stories and a practical approach: change what you buy and eat by just 10 percent—think local, fresh, organic and sustainably-raised. The films shows how diverse people can learn to grow together.
Why: Consumers Union, NRDC and Pew have long-standing advocacy campaigns to stop meat producers from feeding daily antibiotics to healthy farm animals. Doing so breeds resistant organisms, like the one that infected the Spitz’s son.
How: “Food Patriots is a movie and a movement,” said co-producer Jennifer Amdur Spitz. “Food Patriots are everywhere, and each of us has people in our lives we’d like to influence towards healthier choices. This film is meant to share with the ones you love.” Anyone can host a screening. The Spitz’s vision is to distribute Food Patriots through schools, non-profit organizations, chefs, businesses, colleges and faith groups – anywhere people gather and socialize. “We vote with our food dollars. Businesses in the marketplace will either adapt, or make way for new entrepreneurs.”
Who: NRDC, Consumers Union and Pew have invited supporters to the online screening, so far over 5,000 people have registered. Food Patriots premiered to a sold out crowd in Chicago on 2/19, sponsored by Chicago Cultural Center and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Nearly 174,000 parents have signed Jennifer’s petition on Change.org/FoodPatriots to get the risk of superbugs out of school lunches. Seven more consumer petitions on Food Patriots page combine for over 1.2 million parents, voicing concerns about what is in our food. There are over 4,000 pages of comments on Jennifer’s petition alone.
About the Filmmakers
Food Patriots is a product of Groundswell Educational Films, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that combines documentary filmmaking with teaching media skills, live events, persistence and advocacy to leverage real change. Groundswell’s film, The Return of Navajo Boy (Sundance Film Festival & PBS) and its ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the environmental and health impacts of thousands of abandoned uranium mines in the Navajo Nation has led to more than $100 million dollars from the federal government to clean it up.
Jeff Spitz, director of Food Patriots, is an award-winning filmmaker and documentary film professor at Columbia College Chicago. He is the co-founder of Groundswell, and serves as director and co-producer of Food Patriots. Jennifer Amdur Spitz is a communication strategist and marketing professional and principal of Amdur Spitz & Associates, a Chicago public relations agency. She is the co-founder of Groundswell, and co-producer of Food Patriots.
Food Patriots’ executive producer is James A. Knight. The editor is John Farbrother.
Contact: Sarah Flagg
O. 312-377-3758, M. 314-369-8980