Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Refreshing Night

Last night Naomi, Five Crows, Fractured Thoughts, and several others got together for a pot luck meal made from locally grown and raised food. We had salads, green bean casserole, pot roast, pork tenderloin, apple/ leek cheese pastries, and apple cranberry crumble for dessert. The food was excellent and the company was even better.

The impetus for this occasion was the screening of FRESH the movie at the barn in Prairie Crossing. There have been quite a few movies of late about the issue of agriculture and our food industry. I would not suggest this as someone's first movie about current issues in the food and agriculture industry, but it did have some informative insights as well as a thorough interview of Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Joel was as entertaining and informative as he was in Food Inc., however this movie covered his views and the reasons for his farming methods better than any other movie he has been featured in. Of course I think Michael Pollan, the founding father ofmodern food reform, explains him the best:

I asked Joel how he answers the charge that because food like his is more expensive, it is inherently elitist. “I don’t accept the premise,” he replied. “First off, those weren’t any ‘elitists’ you met on the farm this morning. We sell to all kinds of people. Second, whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it’s actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their attention. Then I explain that, with our food, all of the costs are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illnesses, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water — of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No thinking person will tell you they don’t care about all that. I tell them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can buy irresponsibly priced food.” Source: No Bar Code, Mother Jones

Also Michael Pollan's book Omnivore's Dilemma best explains Joel Salatin's farming views and ideas.

The other main character of this movie is Will Allen, a self described food industry drop out. Will is the founder and president of Growing Power, which is an organization that has a simple goal; to grow food, to grow minds, and to grow community. Will started this organization simply enough. He wanted to find work for the teens in his community and to give them a job that would help them give back to their community. From this humble beginning this organization has transformed into a national commitment to sustainable food systems. Growing Power not only provides for its immediate neighborhoods, but also serves as a training facility to teach others how to replicate the methods that they use.

Will Allen produces about $850,000 of health fresh food on just three acres of land in the middle of an urban jungle. Growing Power has six greenhouses, ten hoophouses, pens for goats, turkeys, and chickens. They also have a sustainable system for raising 10,000 tiliapia and perch. Proving to everyone that you can grow a large amount of food on a small area and that people who live in the urban "food deserts" do not need to settle for just processed foods. Everyone is entitled to the right to enjoy fresh delicious produce and meat.

So my recomendation is go see the movie, but if this is your first trip into the world of Slow Food, or agriculture revolution then don't stop here and keep on reading and watching. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it.

If there are no upcoming screenings in your area, please contact the director to get a DVD to host a local screening in your home or community center.

You can also become a fan on Facebook (they list the upcoming screenings on there, too).

No comments:

Post a Comment