First, some statistics. Industrial agriculture’s approach to seeds has reduced the nutrients in 43 types of vegetables and grains. Seed breeding on organic farms can increase yields by 31%. Five agrichemical companies control the majority of seeds. These are just the few of the numbers you’ll find at Seed Matters. But the Clif Bar Family Foundation knows that might not be enough to get you to look deeper into it, and maybe change the way you think and buy food. So they hired an animated organic seed to say things like bullsh*t and motherf**ker to get your attention.
“Mr. Seed” is a five-minute animated short starring comedian Pete Holmes as an organic seed who goes on a cuss-filled rant on why you should consider more research on organic seed and be a bit more wary of the “GMO bros.” Chances are you’ve never thought about the sensual side of replicating drought-tolerant traits, either.
Created by Austin-based agency The Butler Bros, and animation company Buck, it’s an unconventional swing to get people talking about seed. The Butler Bros. founder and strategic chief Adam Butler says Seed Matters wanted to leaven the conversation around seed, and help it become more important among people already engaged in the conversation about our food system.
“The meme of the seed debate is ‘GMO bad, heirlooms good,'” says Butler. “It’s more complex, but unless you’re a plant breeder or agrichemical company employee you aren’t thinking deeply about this stuff on a daily basis. However, when public funding is at stake and a resource like seed—once part of our commons—is being rapidly consolidated and privatized, then we have to invite a broader conversation.”
A quick Google search will illustrate just how extensive and heated the debate around our food system is, so Butler and his team were faced with a few tough questions.
“How do we bring seed into the conversation as a way to increase the number of people who can connect it to this broader conversation about creating a resilient and healthy food system? Well, you need an idea with some punch and some fucking talent to make it,” says Butler. “That’s where Pete Holmes and Buck came in.”
Now let’s see a debate between Mr. Seed and an animated Neil Degrasse Tyson.