Saw Food, Inc. last night at the local independent theatre (though I hope it goes mainstream!)
If you’ve read Omnivore’s Dilemma, then this movie will be like preaching to the choir. However, if you haven’t read Omnivore’s Dilemma, then this is a MUST SEE film. It distills all the information found in the book, but adds in so much more.
What struck me were the blatant abuses of the workers and farmers. The intimidation, fear-mongering and work conditions were appalling.
Most of the film works to shine a light on these dark corners of the food industry: dark corners that make up most of the food we consume on a daily basis, that hide the abuses and injustices of the workers and animals, and the government complicity and willful ignorance that allows these crimes to be perpetuated.
However, the film is not a graphic as some reviews (and the website) have made it out to be. The news clips shown are the same once we’ve seen on the Nightly News or 60 Minutes. So don’t let that deter you from seeing this film.
What I liked most about this film is that it gave concrete ways to fix these issues. Unlike many investigative documentaries that just stir up a whole lot of muck and offer no solutions, Food, Inc. has many solutions and offers viewers many ways to effect small changes that can have big impact.
To paraphrase one of the farmers from the end of the film, “If the consumers demand it, we’ll produce it.”
So consumers, let’s start making some demands for a healthy, sustainable and safe way of getting and eating our foods.
On a personal level, I encourage you to visit the Center for Foodborn Illness Research and Prevention, who’s founder is also the sponsor behind Kevin’s Law and the mother of a child who died from e coli poisoning.
There are also so many great resources on how to make sure you are getting safe, healthy and local foods.
Check out eatwild.com to find a farm near you for grass-fed meats and dairy products. (H/T to Carine for the link!)
Also consider participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. It’s great to split the food (and costs) with a friend or another family! (There are even CSFs — community supported fisheries — now, too!)
Lastly, support your local farmers markets! One of the best suggestions I heard was to work with your local farmers markets to get them to accept food stamps. (Some already do!) This opens up a whole new avenue of healthy, local and safe food for those on restricted incomes.
There’s a lot you can do to help out and each little change we make is one step towards sustainable, safe, healthy food that is good for the animals, the enviroment, the workers and farmers, and us.