Review: The Grab


If I had enough money, could I buy parts of countries? For example, could I buy agricultural property in Canada? Norway? Russia? China? This question took me down a rabbit hole of exceeding complexity, but I can report one thing with clarity. Any nationality may buy any land for sale in the USA.

But what about protecting what we need? Nate Halvorson, with The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), asked the question, “Is another country making moves to control the US food and water supply?” The answer is revealed in “The Grab,” an eye-popping documentary following the money in American water and agriculture real estate deals.

There are restrictions in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio and Tennessee. But basically, if you want to sell your American farm, you pretty much get to sell it to the highest bidder, whether that is another American, a foreigner, an internationally-owned conglomerate, or a foreign country.

One of Halvorson’s first findings was that the largest purchases of an American company, Smithfield Foods (a pork producer and food-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia), was made by the Bank of China which is controlled and run by the Chinese government.

Another finding was that Saudi Arabia purchased 15 square miles in Arizona to grow hay to feed their cattle. They had to dig deep wells to sustain the project. Neighbors to the hay farm had a problem with this because their water wells ran dry.

Food = The Gold of Our Century
More than oil or weapons, because of climate change and population growth, food and water resources have become the world’s most valuable commodities.

Even though China is the world’s biggest food producer, it is also a mammoth food importer because it just doesn’t have enough water for all its agricultural needs. Therefore, it must import food from countries like Brazil, the US, and New Zealand.

Right now, the US is the greatest exporter of food in the world. But what about protection for our depleting aquifers?

Prince of the Dark Side
Food security is tightly linked to national security. History tells us that when a population doesn’t have enough food or water there are conflicts and revolutions. Since food and water are predicted to be the drivers of future wars, leaders of several countries are already jockeying for leverage.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite, award-winning director and writer of “The Grab,” and Halvorson, along with his staff at the CIR, appear fearless in their revelations about who, where, what, and how land grabs are occurring. In tracking down information they found Erik Prince, a former Navy Seal officer who founded Blackwater, a private military outfit. The world’s wealthiest governments are turning to Prince and others to strengthen their positions in the increasingly desperate competition for land resources in surprising places.

“The Grab” is a scary film with dense substantiation for its claims. The US policy that allows foreign investments in our land and water desperately needs to be re-evaluated.


Director/Writer: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Producers: Nathan Halverson, Amanda Pike, Blye Pagon Faust, Nicole Rocklin, and Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Featuring: Nathan Halverson, Ertharin Cousin, Lee Gunn, Maria Ortega, Brigadier Siachitem, and others
Release Date: June 14, 2024
Official Website:

. . .

Join us on Facebook at!

Comments are closed.