Paved Paradise

Karsten de Vreugd

A biologist and a filmmaker on a quest to change our food system and the black and white narrative about agriculture. How do we produce enough to feed the world, and at the same time improve biodiversity? Upbeat, eye-opening and hopeful. 
It is a much-repeated wisdom: intensive farming destroys biodiversity, organic farming restores it. But is that really true? Biologist Hidde Boersma argues just the opposite. Because organic farming needs much more land to grow the same amount of food, there is less land left for nature. However, the European Union actively promotes organic farming. This increases the agricultural land, which already comprises 40 per cent of our planet’s surface. 
Hidde and his friend, filmmaker Karsten de Vreugd, set out to investigate an alternative strategy: if agricultural food production is concentrated on the most fertile soil, there is more room left for nature to thrive. In their creative and humorous quest they talk to scientists, farmers, politicians and campaigners all over the world. In stunningly filmed Portugal and Costa Rica they witness the successes of new ways of thinking about nature. But while scientist reach consensus, governments seem to be moving in the opposite direction. 


Karsten de Vreugd
Jolijn van Rinsum
Country of production
Netherlands, The
92 minutes
Spoken language
Dutch, English, Spanish
Production company
Sugar Rush Film
Dutch distributor