And on That Farm There Were Some Pesticides: Watch Old MacDonald Go Organic

A new video shows everyone’s favorite folk-song farmer learning about sustainability.
Feb 24, 2015·
Ashley Jakubczyk is an editorial intern for TakePart.com and a graduate student at Harvard University. She has also written for Thought Catalog,The Daily Bruin,The Daily Breeze, and Peninsula People magazine.

Old MacDonald’s farm is, apparently, full of G-M-G-M-Os.

At least, that’s how Only Organic sees it. On Monday the trade group, which represents organic food makers and retailers, released "New MacDonald," a video reinterpretation of the folk song “Old MacDonald.” But it’s not what you’d expect to hear about the beloved farm you sang about as a child—there’s more than a chicken here and a cow there, E-I-E-I-O.

The video, starring a group of local Tennessee schoolchildren, aims to bring attention to the pesticides and harmful chemicals used to grow genetically modified foods. The onstage play first presents a chaotic farmyard scene: Cows are injected with hormones, caged chickens can’t seem to fly the coop, and streams of pesticides drown tall stalks of corn.

But when the kids introduce New MacDonald, who rids the farm of toxins and harmful agents, new grass is rolled out, chickens run free, and the cornstalks—and everyone onstage—can again breathe fresh air.

(Infographic: Courtesy Only Organic)

“Say goodbye to Old MacDonald,” reads the text at the end of the video. “Choose a healthy future for our kids and the planet.”

The clip piggybacks on a video released by Only Organic last year. "The Natural Effect," which has more than 1 million YouTube views, pokes fun at the debate between “natural” and “organic” food choices.

As with "The Natural Effect," the idea behind "New MacDonald" is to educate the public about where its food comes from—and what comes with it.

“Our new video turns the spotlight on the true costs of conventional farming and the harm it does to environmental health,” Gary Hirshberg, chairman of the organic yogurt–producing Stonyfield Farms, said in a press release. He also said he hopes the clip “furthers the conversation around why going organic is beneficial to our environment.”