The Need To GROW: the power of soil

16th July 2020 | Eativity editors

Earth has lost a third of its farmable soil in the last 40 years. In the last century, our soils have lost 80 percent of their minerals. The UN reports that we may only have around 60 years of farmable topsoil left on the planet if we continue our current rate of soil degradation through industrial agriculture. And without farmable soil, we will have no food.

This is the message behind the documentary The Need To GROW. But trust us, this is not just another doomsday film. That’s the last thing any of us needs right now. It’s the story of everyday heroes who are creating a new food system, in harmony with nature.

Filmmakers Rob Herring and Ryan Wirick from Earth Conscious Films, along with actress and activist Rosario Dawson, spent five years making The Need To GROW. The film focuses on three people who are working to regenerate our planet’s most precious dying resource.

The Need to Grow: save the soil, save the world

Soil: the key to feeding the planet

An urban farmer struggles to keep his land after he pioneers a way to grow organic, nutrient-dense produce at warp speed – anywhere. An eight-year-old girl scout challenges the ethics of a beloved organisation in her quest to raise awareness and make healthy food available to everyone. And a visionary inventor builds a closed-loop energy generator that takes waste and turns it into a natural substance that can reclaim and regenerate dead soil… Doing in days what takes nature 400 years.

It’s an uplifting – and, at times, pretty moving – film. It showcases the passion of some remarkable people who are fighting to heal our broken food system and protect new technology that holds the key to feeding the planet and reversing the damage caused by industrial agriculture. Their disruptive solutions are putting the power to grow unlimited healthy food in the hands of the people.

The Need to Grow: save the soil, save the world
Alicia Serratos started a petition for Girl Scout Cookies to be made with non-GMO ingredients.

A film for everyone who eats

The character-driven story also highlights the importance of topsoil. It shows why healing it is the environmental solution we’ve been waiting for. It also shows that, while soil degradation is a global problem, the solution lies much closer to home. The key to fixing our food system is to localise and diversify the food supply and increase small organic farms.

This is a truly eye-opening film that everyone should watch. Which is why the filmmakers have released the film online for anyone to watch – for free.

The Need to Grow: save the soil, save the world
Michael Smith (left) has created an energy generator that sequesters carbon and produces super soil vitaliser.

A gift to the world

“The Need To GROW is an underdog story that the world needs right now,” says Herring. “The way the environmental heroes in this story overcome challenges is an important metaphor for how so many of us are feeling regarding ecological issues.

“It’s a chance for viewers to not only learn about urgent problems in our food system; but to embrace the astonishing potential of healthy soil as a climate solution. This is why we decided to give the film away as a gift to the world. The conversation needs to change.”

With so much challenging, and even frightening, environmental news nowadays, this film provides the kind of good news we all sorely need. There are solutions to heal our broken planet. And there are real-life heroes out there who are doing amazing things so that we can continue to feed the world without destroying it.

You can watch The Need to GROW for free at