I have a crush on Eric Schlosser. I know he's not a movie star or even a farmer but he's got a way of talking about farm workers rights and corn that makes me soft inside. And then when he says, "Monsanto," and his hand flexes into a fist; what can I say?
I didn't read the book but I saw Food, Inc.. Not only does the movie star Eric Schlosser but Michael Pollan was there too. And so was Joel Salatin. They're the three stooges of the know-your-food movement. And I mean that with the utmost respect. These guys were awesome but they're funny too.
The movie was everything a sustainable food girl could want and yet it was just a taste of how food makes its way to the plate. There was a vignette on factory farmed animals, on the treatment of farm workers, of the growing rates of diabetes as a result of cheap food. There was a vignette on GMO's, on government subsidies, on the source of ingredients in food. The movie stayed succinct but could have taken off in any direction for hours. And I would have stayed for all of it.
There were a couple of times I covered my eyes, a couple of times I covered my heart. And a few times my own fist flexed into a fist and I wanted to punch the air and yell, "Yeah. Tell 'em. Way to go!" And then I would get all googley eyed when Eric Schlosser returned to the screen.
The most surprising information was related to the treatment of the migrant farm workers. Forget about how we treat the animals we eat, or the pesticides and fertilizers being flushed into our water ways. Forget about the destruction of top soil and the inability of farmers to save seeds because a patented GMO seed has blown onto their property. Forget about all of that and there are the human beings that handle the food. I wanted to cover my eyes, my heart and ears all at the same time.
The movie is not doom and gloom however. The Stoneyfield Farms guy is one happy dude. And the guys from Walmart? Complete comedic relief. Sure, there are challenges. When hasn't there been? But Food, Inc. is hopeful for the mere fact that it was made. That it's being distributed to major markets. That's it's been reviewed and talked about and linked all over the place.
A friend told me a year and a half ago that the sustainable food movement would never go mainstream. "It's just a trend," this friend said. This movie is not however a trend. It's ambitious, it's smart and hopefully it will whet the appetite for mainstream to start lifting the veil between kitchen tables and food producers everywhere. Hopefully it will raise the momentum of people voting with their forks for fair food that is considerate of all beings.
But mainstream better stay away from Eric Schlosser. He's mine!
Recommended: For people who eat.
Rated: 4 Stars (I don't want to set expectations too high and parts of it are a bit corny!)