Food and Country
A film that uncovers the country’s broken food system and the
innovators risking everything to transform it.
2023 | Running Time: 1 Hour 40 minutes | Rating: NR
Ruth Reichl–trailblazing NY Times food critic, groundbreaking Gourmet Magazine editor, best-selling memoirist, and one of the most influential figures shaping American food culture since the 1970s– worries about the fate of small farmers, ranchers, and chefs as the pandemic takes hold. Following her nose to every corner of the country, across political and social divides, she reaches out to innovators risking it all to survive on the front lines. Covid presents new obstacles for them, but Food and Country quickly transcends the health crisis, laying bare how America’s decades-old policy of producing cheap, abundant food at all costs hobbles the very purveyors striving to stay independent. Ruth follows the unfolding stories of ranchers in Kansas and Georgia, farmers in Nebraska, Ohio and the Bronx, a New England fisherman, and maverick chefs on both coasts, as they wrestle with both immediate and systemic challenges. What began for Ruth as a journalistic project blooms into a series of intimate friendships as she becomes confidante to her subjects, and they in turn develop into multi-dimensional, unforgettable characters. In witnessing them puzzle through intractable circumstances, Ruth shares pieces of her own life, and in doing so, begins to take stock of the path she has traveled and the ideals she left behind. Through her eyes, we get to know the humanity and struggle behind the food we eat. In Food and Country, food becomes a prism for so much more. As Ruth says: “how we grow and make our food shows us our values – as a nation and as human beings.” Filmmakers: Laura Gabbert, Director/Producer; Caroline Libresco, Producer
“Their collective insights tell us a great deal about our food system and serve as a warning. Yet their devotion to the work — and often their employees — is heartening, even humbling.”
Lisa Kennedy, VARIETY