At this point I am guessing a lot of you reading this blog have seen Food, Inc. Would you believe I have not? Because I haven’t, and not for lack of desire, just lack of opportunity. I’d have watched it months ago, except I found love for this British series centered around some Time Lord who travels in a blue box which is bigger on the inside…
Anyway, this week I thought I would share with you some real food relevant documentaries you may have missed. If you liked Food, Inc., I would suggest giving these a try. They’ll cover both the food and health angle along with environmental issues and some social justice.
Remember Super Size Me? (Incidentally another movie I have never seen) Well, in response to that, Tom Naughton decided to investigate if it was possible to LOSE weight on a fast food diet. Along the way, he finds out that it’s hard to eat 5,000 calories a day even eating the worst of the fast food, the racist and classist undertones of Super Size me, the history behind the theory that cholesterol is the enemy (another topic which deserves a lot of coverage here), and that meat and fats are not automatically “the enemy.” Sometimes the content is a bit heavily libertarian, but it’ll make you wonder about what you’ve been told to eat for the last fifty years. Also includes interviews with several doctors, and Mary Enig and Sally Fallon-Morrell of Weston A. Price Foundation.
Dirt the Movie
The source from which all our food comes, no matter what kind of diet you keep. It’s been greatly abused by industrial agriculture and has led to a great deal of problems, whether they be food, shelter, or community. We can’t live without it.
The scene that sticks out the most to me is from the beginning, when discussing dirt use in Haiti. Because for so many people in the country food is so scarce, there are people who eat mud cakes to fill their bellies. While this may sound disgusting to our American palates, the dirt itself is home to a wide range of minerals which the body needs to keep itself functioning well. Apparently, some eating of dirt is also common in a lot of traditional cultures. I have to wonder about this, especially in light of something my grandmother used to say: “A little dirt is good for the system.” Mind you, that gets said in my house now when there’s a bit of dirt clinging to the vegetables.
What happens when two young curious men decide to find out what their bodies are made of, and discover that over 90% of the carbon in their bodies is corn based? They move from Boston to Iowa and raise an acre of corn, which the help of federal subsidies, fertilizer, and genetically modified seeds. Over the course of watching their crop grow they learn just how much corn has infiltrated our food supply, that GM corn tastes horrible, how to make high fructose corn syrup, and exactly how our food supply became so cheap. HIGHLY recommended, especially if you eat a lot of packaged foods.
Of all the movies listed here, this is apparently the one most like Food, Inc. Get an up close view of Polyface Farms (if you’ve read The Omnivore’s Dilemma this should be a familiar name), a small sustainable farm in urban Wisconsin, along with some views of industrial farming techniques like chicks thrown around a large building and kept on caustic bedding.
The movie has not had a wide release as of yet, so check the web site for screenings and ways to see it.
It’s been a while since I watched this so I apologize for the lack of specifics. The short review is that this is a documentary about the world’s water supply, water pollution, and the ongoing efforts of multinational corporations to privatize the water supply. Water is life and needed as much as Dirt, if not more so.
Related: Did you know that Bechtel Corporation once privatized the water supply in Bolivia and raised prices so high the poor could not afford this basic need of life? Read the Cochabamba Declaration.
The Future of Food
This is definitely one to watch if you have any interest in learning about genetically modified foods. It focuses a lot on Monsanto, their rise to power, history of genetically engineered food, and finding out just how many members of the federal government have been somehow employed by Monsanto. The most sobering scenes are of farmers, both in Canada and Mexico, who had been practicing seed saving for generations and discovered that their crops (canola and corn respectively) had been contaminated by genetically engineered crops.
This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday. Check out the carnival to see what else is happening in the real food blogsphere this week.