Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Food, Inc.

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'm his.

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!)

9 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie. With luck, they might show it in our area. If not, I'll just have to wait for the DVD, but I hear it's a must-see.

JAM said...

Same with me. In the meantime, I requested the book. Thanks!

Beany said...

I feel the same way about Salatin. Yummy!

The movie comes out this Friday at a theatre near me and I'm torn on whether to wait for the library to get it or whether I ought to spend the money for instant gratification.

kale for sale said...

Heather - You'll love this movie. I hope you write a review too!

Jam - You're library has everything. I'd love to know what the book is like. I've never actually seen it other than pictures.

Beany - That's too funny. Salatin's a character. We went to a matinee and the theater was 80% full. On a Sunday. I love instant gratification.

Going Crunchy said...

Ooohhh! Gotta see it!

kale for sale said...

Going Crunchy - Is the movie showing in your area? I'm curious if it's opening all across the U.S. I just left southeast North Carolina and I'm sure it's not opening there.

Green Bean said...

Fantastic review. My favorite line: Food, Inc. is hopeful for the mere fact that it was made. I've been traveling the last two weeks through Marin County, Utah and Washington. Let me tell you. The EAT LOCAL movement is alive and spreading! Woohoo.

As I've been gone with this movie came out, I haven't had a chance to see it. I'll definitely look to see where it is playing when we get back into town.

Chile said...

Just saw this and came away with the same seething anger I experienced after watching "The Future of Food." Waaay too much power in the hands of those who don't give a hoot about anything other than profit.

As the movie says at the end, you can vote for better food, better treatment of animals and workers, and better environmental practices with every bite.

kale for sale said...

Chile - And I have to believe that voting with our forks whenever possible does make a difference! Thanks for leaving the comment that you went. I'm happy to know the movie is circulating.