Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coming Soon (tomorrow!) to a Theater Near You...

Earlier this week, thanks to the lovely folks at Edible Boston magazine, I had the opportunity to attend an advance screening of Food, Inc. at the Kendall Square Theater. The film, a documentary directed by Robert Kenner, presents a remarkably comprehensive picture of the troubles plaguing our current food system. Although the cast of characters and issues are familiar to many of us (Monsanto, factory farms, and corrupt government officials on one side; Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin, and public seed on the other), Kenner has put the pieces together in a clear, concise manner that makes it easy to understand these very complex issues. He has also done a remarkable job of illuminating the human suffering that results from our current food system, a subject that often takes a back seat to the animal suffering involved. There are long-time farmers being forced to pay for patented seed or face a lawsuit, undocumented workers being treated as a disposable work force, and families all across the country who want to make better food choices for their children but can't afford to when broccoli costs five times as much as a two liter of soda.

The film is informative without being preachy or sensational, and will surely strike a chord with many, many viewers, including those who aren't as familiar with these issues. It also reminds us that we do have tremendous power as consumers, and that every dollar we spend sends a message to the farmers and companies involved, as well as our government. Choosing locally raised chicken during one trip to the grocery store may feel insignificant, but the cumulative effect of these small personal choices sends big messages to the decision-makers in this system; even Walmart, the biggest player of them all, made all of their milk hormone free based on consumer choices.

Whether you're new to the sustainable food movement or you think you've heard it all before, this is a movie that we all need to see. It is both convincing and inspiring, and will hopefully serve as a much needed vehicle for growing the grass roots movement required to effect real change.

So get out there this weekend and head to the theater! Then visit their website to find out what you can do to create a food system that's healthy for our bodies, our minds, and our planet.

(For theaters and showtimes near you, click here!)

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