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America is facing a food crisis driven by profitability and a lack of consumer education. While the window to transforming our heartland continues to shrink, passionate individuals have ... See full summary »


Matt Wechsler


Matt Wechsler



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Credited cast:
Marty Travis Marty Travis ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Barber ... Self
Rick Bayless ... Self
Mark Bittman Mark Bittman ... Self
Kelly Brownell ... Self
John Ikerd John Ikerd ... Self
Fred Kirschenmann Fred Kirschenmann ... Self
Matthew Liebman Matthew Liebman ... Self
Klaas Martens Klaas Martens ... Self
Marion Nestle ... Self
Bill Niman Bill Niman ... Self
Nicolette Niman Nicolette Niman ... Self
Greg Wade Greg Wade ... Self


America is facing a food crisis driven by profitability and a lack of consumer education. While the window to transforming our heartland continues to shrink, passionate individuals have emerged who provide hope that the health of our nation might still remain within our grasp. Sustainable weaves together expert analysis of America's food and farming system with a powerful narrative of one extraordinary farmer who is determined to create a sustainable future for his community. Amidst the cornfields of Illinois lives the hero of the film - Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago. The film unearths the future of agriculture - a marriage of age-old tradition and groundbreaking science. Industry pioneers from around the nation reveal the secrets behind human ...

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food | farm | farming | See All (3) »


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Featured in Reel Midwest: Sustainable (2020) See more »

User Reviews

An interesting and comprehensive story told through unique voices
1 July 2020 | by mgo-65117See all my reviews

What do you know about where your food comes from? What does it really mean to be sustainable in the agricultural industry? How can we feed the world? The 2016 documentary, Sustainable, answers all these questions and more from the perspective of small scale farmers. Told primarily through the voices of a seventh generation farmer in Illinois, Sustainable tells the story of how the people who call what is often termed 'flyover country' home are working tirelessly to change the food systems in America. Blending agriculture, environmental science, economics, marketing, and culture the film examines the movement from all sides while avoiding the fear mongering often present in exposes on the food industry and health crisis in the United States.

I appreciated the synergy between the academic research presented and the positive results that the independent farmers found in their crops. Furthermore, I believe that the film convincingly made an argument for how food grown in a sustainable fashion is capable of feeding the world, responding directly to the most common criticisms of price and output. By combining this with the more commonly known positive environmental effects, the documentary is able to bring the goals of both sides together. The documentarians have deployed humor as a weapon against the marketing of food trends to consumers with great impact, and a rather damning conclusion.

In my opinion, the one negative about the film is that I found it mildly disjointed, and I had some difficulty holding all of the different threads to the story. By trying to come at the issue with a holistic perspective and include as many examples as possible, the product has a cohesive message, but maybe not a cohesive narrative. Even with this downfall, overall I found the documentary to not only be a fascinating look at a grassroots food movement, but also a compelling argument for a larger cultural shift.

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Release Date:

1 March 2017 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Sustainable - Il futuro del cibo in America See more »

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