Rob Herring is an environmental filmmaker and musical activist. He Directed/Produced/Wrote The Need To Grow, winner of multiple Best Documentary awards and seen in 175 countries around the world. As a musician, he writes songs for health and eco activism, and headlined the Rock For Nature concert in Berlin for 25,000 people. He is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and the cofounder of Integrative Pediatrics.
In the beginning of the episode, Rob talks about starting out as an actor in New York and dealing with some serious health challenges. During this time, he was prescribed one medication after another, but he wasn’t getting better. He was frustrated with the “never ending loop” that didn’t really address the root cause. It wasn’t until he explored alternatives like food, nutrition and herbal medicine that he was able to turn his health around. He was left with this question: “How is it possible so much of this information is not accessible to people.”
Rob started to connect the dots between human health and environmental health. He realized that the same toxins that poison the human body also do harm to the environment. He says: “I really started to see human health and environmental health as the same conversation.”
Prior to making his documentary “THE NEED TO GROW,” Rob worked as an environmental activist focusing on GMO foods as well as the herbicide Glyphosate. At the time, people were burnt out from all of the problems, and he decided the time was right for a project that focused on solutions.
Ultimately Rob realized that his movie needed to be a story about soil. As he says, soil is “infinitely complex and loaded with microorganisms.” He explains that we’ve exhausted our soils through industrial agriculture over the past few decades. The challenge is to regenerate the soil and put life back into it. Soil health is critical to fixing the water issue since it is a storage unit for water and rainfall and thereby reduces the risk of both flood and drought. Soil is also the place where excess atmospheric carbon can be stored.
As a filmmaker, Rob talks about the compelling storylines in the film, as they follow three great characters: inventor Michael Smith; young child activist Alicia Serratos; and micro farm master Erik Cutter. Each character confronts tremendous obstacles. In this way, they are stories of human resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
In many ways, this film is a call to action. The movie points out that during WWII, in the US, 20 million home gardens produced 40% of the nation’s food. Right now, backyard home gardens in the US are producing .01% of the nation’s food. Unfortunately we are currently outsourcing our food production and this has had dire consequences for human health.
For Rob, it is possible for anyone to start growing food. He talks about getting creative and growing food in his apartment complex in Los Angeles. He says you just need to do the unexpected and think outside the box.
Rob shares his deep love and connection with Nature. He says it’s not something outside of us, we are nature! Time spent outdoors is good medicine that can have a lasting impact on the immune system. Beyond nature, community is also critical. He says the past year has shined a light on the fact that “we are social creatures, and we must be in contact with other people.”
In the end, Rob shares one of the great secrets. He says most people believe that they will feel the way they want once they get what they want. But in reality, it’s the exact opposite – when you feel what you want to feel, you will get what you want. That is why Rob says to prioritize feeling good as much as possible. And you can use techniques to generate these feel good emotions like abundance, gratitude and joy. However even feeling bad can be beneficial because it’s feedback and lets you know that you are not on the right path.
You can learn more about Rob and his films right here: Earthconsciouslife.org
For a limited time, you can watch The Need to Grow for free during the week of June 22, 2021 – June 28, 2021. You can watch it here: TheNeedToGrow.com