Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can we really change food policy after watching Food Inc.?

The documentary Food, Inc., which opens Friday at the Nuart and moves to the Landmark on June 19, is pretty much guaranteed to change your mind about what America eats and where it comes from.
Here's Variety's review with the memorable blurb "Does for the supermarket what 'Jaws' did for the beach."
But many charge that documentaries like Food, Inc., Food Fight and Fresh are preaching to the converted. Clearly many of the people in communities where Food Inc. is set to play, like Berkeley, San Rafael and Portland, are already aware of the vast problems with the U.S. food system. Participant Films, the backers of Food, Inc., do try to give viewers information they can use to make positive changes after viewing their films. Some of the 10 suggestions provided for Food Inc. include: Stop drinking sodas; visit your local farmer's market; and go without meat once a week. Fine on an individual level, but I don't quite see how most of these could lead to actual changes in industrial food production. It's a good start, but a better farm bill would help even more.
What do you think chefs, writers and enthusiastic eaters can do to start to overhaul the dangerous, polluting, obesity-causing industrial food system?


Colleen said...

You're right, a better farm bill is essential. As for what we writers, chefs and eaters can do... it's baby steps, but I'd say get involved by volunteering, supporting and helping to promote grass-roots efforts that move beyond the already-converted-- so support the Garden School Foundation, which helps students maintain an edible garden in South L.A. and teaches them how to cook and eat fresh produce; or help with any of the other community-garden and school-nutrition programs. RootdownLA is a good place to start, or the Los Angeles Community Garden Council.

Bradley Burlingame said...

really excited to see this doc. the wife and I have really cleaned up our act in the last 1.5 years (food wise;), and it's making all the difference.

always be mistrustful of the intersection of large corporations and things you ingest.

Kathy A. McDonald said...

The New York Times helps out: sustainable food blogs and more.