By now, pretty much everyone knows about the anti-wheat/anti-gluten "movement," but not too many people know about a new "local food movement" that values the craft processes, ingredients, artisanal practices, and people involved with heirloom grains. Rise of the Grains is a documentary inspired by the Native Seeds SEARCH/Hayden Flour Mills/Sossaman Farms/Chris Bianco collaboration and the producers filmed in Arizona, the United States, and even Europe. This film is being called the most star-studded food documentary in history, and it all started here in Arizona. If you're curious about grains and bread, you'll want to keep an eye on this documentary, set for release next spring.
Producer-director JD McLelland calls the film a project of passion and connected directly with the top chefs, food scientists, and bakers in the country -- not only for the film but also in major advocacy and improvement programs.
"The general impression of Arizona agriculture and food across the world couldn't be further from the truth. We love the surprise reaction we always get when people learn the key foundational role that Arizona is playing in this movement. Even folks in Arizona are commonly unaware of the incredible things happening thanks to good, passionate people like Chris Bianco, Gary Nabhan, Steve Sossaman, and Jeff Zimmerman," says McLelland.
He also says that one of the biggest surprises of the film is how much misinformation and lack of understanding there is in the area of grains and grain by-products. According to the producer, nine out of 10 people have no idea what white flour is and how it is created. "Grains are the foundation of the human diet, wheat is in everything."
Think about it, do you really know where your grain is grown and how bread is made?
It seems bread has become an expletive of late, but the film contends that a healthy and tasty bread process includes: a quality grain seed, organic or natural farming, whole grain milling, and an artisan baking or cooking process with long fermentation.
The leaders featured in the film come to the process from a number of angles including taste, connection to a food source, and sustainability. The producers also promise that the film presents a positive focus on sustainable solutions for change, unlike some food documentaries that use scare tactics or negativity to make a point. All of this and a preview clip seem to indicate the film will not only be enjoyable and educational to watch, but will make you proud to call Arizona home.
In spring 2014, there will be a number of premieres and screenings of Rise of the Grains across the U.S., with a few key events being here in Arizona in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Tucson, and Tubac. You can view a rough preview clip here. An official teaser video and trailer will be released in the coming weeks.